LAUNCH: The World Health Organisation’s Global Burden of Disease estimates that 265,000 childhood deaths from fire-related burns occur each year, with a majority of them happening in low- and middle-income countries.
More than half the deaths take place in the Southeast Asian region, including in Malaysia, where it is reported that one child dies every two weeks due to fires or other burns.
Recognising the need to create awareness of this global public health issue, Safe Kids Malaysia (a non-profit organisation that aims to improve the lives of children in Malaysia) has launched the ‘Safe Kids at Home’ educational programme, designed to help prevent deaths by fires and burns among children aged 7 to 12 years old.
Together in partnership with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Safe Kids Worldwide and Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the programme was developed based on the findings of a 2016 survey conducted by Safe Kids Malaysia and UPM titled How Safe is Your Home? Protecting Children from Fire, Burns and Scalds in Kuala Lumpur.
At the release of the research findings, executive director of Safe Kids Malaysia UPM, Associate Professor Dr Kulanthayan KC Mani, said: “The research has identified a critical need for fire and burn education for children, and we look forward to starting to implement the Safe Kids at Home programme in nine schools in Sentul,
Key research findings were:
• More than half of the parents (54 per cent) reported that their children had suffered one form of a burn or scald injury in the past two years
• 51 per cent of parents are worried that their children are more likely to suffer a burn or scald than any other injury
• Only 1 in 3 parents consistently teach their kids about fire safety
• 11 per cent of parents reported that schools frequently teach fire safety education
• More than 80 per cent of parents stated that they use toothpaste as remedy, which
can actually worsen the injuries
UPM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Datin Paduka Dr Aini Ideris, said: “As one of the top research universities in Malaysia, we are proud to partner with two outstanding global organisations — Safe Kids Worldwide and Honeywell.
“Additionally, we are pleased to work together with the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia, and will continue to contribute to initiatives that leave a long-lasting positive impact on societies at large.”
President of Honeywell ASEAN, Briand Greer, added: “Malaysia is the first country in ASEAN to launch the programme and we are proud to partner with Safe Kids Malaysia UPM and Safe Kids Worldwide.
“Honeywell is committed to improving people’s quality of life by making measurable differences in the communities where we live and work. With the focused efforts on education, healthcare, enforcement and fire safety agencies, our goal is to educate every child on the importance of home safety and fire prevention.”
Honeywell is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing company with a corporate citizenship initiative that focuses on five critical areas; family safety and security, science and math, housing and shelter, habitat and conservation and humanitarian relief.