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This is the first of several blog posts on nursing issues in the developing world contributed by MSc nursing students studying at the Karachi, Pakistan campus of the Aga Khan School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Their class assignment involved composing and submitting short research articles for publication in a recommended nursing blog or journal. The object: to help them hone their communication skills as future nurse leaders in Pakistan’s healthcare system. As their instructor put it, one of the goals of the exercise is to encourage nursing students to become “Change Agents” in healthcare settings and the world. DailyNurse thanks the instructor and all of the Change Agents who submitted articles. We hope you will find the selected posts informative and thought-provoking.

Developing countries have reduced burn cases by educating the public about safety guidelines, advanced safety fire safety tools, regulations, and raising awareness regarding this burning issue. 

However, fire safety rules are either not enforced or people are unaware of fire safety precautions in developing countries, particularly in Pakistan. Furthermore, due to overpopulation, lack of education, social and economic problems, it is difficult to reduce the cases, which leads to increase health costs and years of life lost (YLL).  Currently, Shalamar Hospital Lahore is pursuing a campaign to sensitize the public to the danger of serious household burns, particularly among children. 

The following are some kitchen-based strategies that Shalamar Hospital is suggesting to help prevent and reduce the occurrence of burns in children. 

  • Avoid holding a child while catering or carrying hot food or liquid. 
  • Communicate to youngsters that hot things burn. 
  • Avoid drinking any hot fluids or food while having a child in your lap. 
  • Kitchen safety guidelines should be posted on a visible site and followed strictly. 
  • Teach children to stay away from the kitchen stove. 
  • Always use child-resistant lighters and avoid smoking. 
  • Keep the play area away from the kitchen and keep close eyes on children.  
  • Replaced all broken electrical wires and plugs, as soon as possible. 
  • Make sure there is an essily accessible exit in each room, especially the kitchen. 
  • Keep towels and other flammable material away from your kitchen stovetop. 
  • Turn the handles of the pot towards the back of the stove. 
  • Unplug small appliances when not in use. 
  • Keep heaters at least three feet away from furniture or any other flammable materials. 
  • Avoid leaving the kitchen unattended while cooking and making sure that you have stored all the hot recipes in a safe place and have locked the cupboards. 
  • Use oven mitts when it is necessary to handle ovens and heaters. 
  • Do not use tablecloths and place hot foods and liquids away from the table corner. 
  • Never use petrol or kerosene oil for burning. 
  • Do not warm the formula milk bottle to avoid burning a baby’s mouth.  

Resources for Further Information on Household Burn Safety: 

https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/burns/index.html  

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/burns  

https://www.cityofolean.org/ofd/tips/fire_safety_for_kids.html  

https://raisingchildren.net.au/newborns/safety/burns-scalds-fire/burns  

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Amir Rahman, RN, BSN, MPH
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