During Burn Awareness Week, Feb. 1-7, Shriners Hospitals for Children kicks off a year long educational campaign focused on preventing gasoline burn injuries.

Shriners Hospitals for Children treated more than 800 children for acute burns caused by ignition of a highly flammable material, such as gasoline since 2002. Teens10-14 years old are four times more likely to get in trouble with gasoline. For this age group, the campaign uses the personal story of Austin Bailiff, a teen who sustained serious burns over most of his body as a result of he and a friend experimenting with gasoline to set fire to a glove.

"Preventing burn injuries and burn awareness education should be an ongoing effort, not just a week-long campaign," says Peter Armstrong, MD, chief medical officer at Shriners Hospitals for Children. "We are declaring 2009 the year of ‘Preventing Gasoline Burn Injuries.’"

According to a study published in the November 2007 issue of the Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, there are an estimated 10,000 pediatric burn injuries annually in the United States. "Most of these types of burn injuries are preventable," says Armstrong.