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To Our Children Section
One of the most painful injuries that one can ever experience is a burn injury. When a burn occurs to the skin, nerve endings are damaged causing intense feelings of pain. Every year, millions of people in Canada and the United States are burned in one way or another. Of those, thousands die as a result of their burns. Many require long-term hospitalisation. Burns are a leading cause of unintentional death in Canada and the United States.

Serious burns are complex injuries. In addition to the burn injury itself, a number of other functions may be affected. Burn injuries can affect muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels. The respiratory system can be damaged, with possible airway obstruction, respiratory failure and respiratory arrest.

Since burns injure the skin, they impair the body's normal fluid/electrolyte balance, body temperature, body thermal regulation, joint function, manual dexterity, and physical appearance. In addition to the physical damage caused by burns, patients also may suffer emotional and psychological problems that begin at the emergency scene and could last a very long time. These injuries are even more terrible when they occur in childhood or during teenage years since their outcome will linger so much longer with the unfortunate young patient.

Burn accident statistics show that at least 50% of all burn accidents can be prevented. For example, one of every 13 structure fire deaths in the Canada and the United States was caused by a child setting a fire. Children playing with fire account for more than one-third of pre-school child deaths by fire. The following information regarding burn injuries has been compiled:  

  • Children, ages new-born to two-years-old, are most frequently admitted for emergency burn care in a hospital. The kitchen is the most frequent area within the home where burn injuries occur for children new-born to four years in age. The second most frequent area in which burns occur is in the bathroom.
  • Burns and fires are the leading cause of accidental death in the home for children 14 and under and the third leading cause of accidental death for adults.
  • Scalds are the leading cause of accidental death in the home for children from birth to age four and are 40% of the burn injuries for children up to age 14.

Now Imagine…

Imagine a burn survivor, released from a sheltered existence in hospital, grateful to be alive yet looking towards a life that holds many fears and uncertainties, enveloped in insecurities.  Imagine a burn survivor, one who was burned two, three months ago, faced with wondering what the future could possibly hold, having been through incredible pain and treatments that many never could.  In some cases the pain hasn’t stopped. Imagine facing the reality that things will never be the same and wondering if anyone could possibly understand.

Imagine a burn survivor, whose life was irrevocably changed as a child, when their life should have just been beginning. Imagine having to grow up in a world where people, children and adults alike, can be maliciously cruel.  Surviving and growing yet knowing that they will never be considered quite normal and wondering if anyone could possibly understand.

Imagine being a family member who has witnessed the devastation of a burn injury experienced by a loved one – the confusion of questions and concerns that are never completely answered.  Imagine the need to alleviate the pain of a loved one but feeling helpless to do so, and wondering if anyone could possibly understand.

Imagine a health care worker, who as part of his or her effort to help burn survivors live, must inflict pain, needing to be firm and dreading it at the same time. Imagine the turmoil in saving the life of a burn survivor yet questioning what their quality of life will be like and wondering if anyone could possibly understand.

Imagine a firefighter.  Imagine being faced with the daily challenge of saving the lives of those caught by fire.  Imagine fighting an unpredictable force that can all to often turn and wound and the fighter becomes the victim.  Imagine rescuing someone from the flames and sending them off to the hospital without every knowing what becomes of them and wondering if anyone could possibly understand.

Now, imagine a place with no walls, no boundaries and no judgements, where those described here may enter.  Where they are greeted with smiles and hugs and the warmth of those who have become like family - those who truly understand.

This is the amazing power of the toma.gif (348 bytes) Foundation for bc.gif (704 bytes). Each year burn children, burn survivors, family members, health care professionals, firefighters and others come together with members of the toma.gif (348 bytes) Foundation for bc.gif (704 bytes) for sharing and connecting. This is the purpose of this website.  To break down barriers and offer a room with no walls.  To educate and prevent.  To offer a place where survivors can share their stories to grow or offer hope and inspiration to others. 

Welcome to the toma.gif (348 bytes) Foundation for bc.gif (704 bytes) web site.

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