Effectiveness of basic educational intervention in paediatric burns first aid

Wan Loong James Mok1, Jade Kua Phek Hui2, John Carson Allen3 Regine Lim Li Ying4 Cassandra Mah Zi Yuan5 Tan Wei Ern Jonathan6

1 KK Womens and Childrens Hospital, 100 Bukit Timah Road Singapore 229899, mrjamesmok@gmail.com 
2 KK Womens and Childrens Hospital, 100 Bukit Timah Road Singapore 229899, jade.kua.ph@kkh.com.sg 
3 Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, 8 College Road #04-31 Singapore 169857, john.allen@duke-nus.edu.sg
4 Hwa Chong Institution, 661 Bukit Timah Road Singapore 269734, reginelimly@gmail.com
5 Hwa Chong Institution, 661 Bukit Timah Road Singapore 269734, cassandra.mahh@gmail.com
6 Hwa Chong Institution, 661 Bukit Timah Road Singapore 269734, jonnytan27@gmail.com


Burn injuries are prevalent worldwide. In Singapore, burn injuries are the third most common cause of injury amongst children. Caregiver first aid can mitigate the devastating effects of paediatric burn injuries, however, knowledge has been lacking due to poor public health education. Our aim was to raise the level of knowledge regarding paediatric burns first aid by determining current deficiencies and assessing the efficacy of a short, structured educational intervention.


Over a 12-week period, 263 caregivers were surveyed at the paediatric emergency department and burns clinic of KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The questionnaire recorded caregiver demographics and knowledge of burns first aid pre-intervention. A pictorial educational poster was then given to each caregiver, together with standardised burns first aid advice. The survey resumed thereafter and the post-intervention questions were completed.


Of the 263 surveys conducted, 248 complete responses were obtained. We found a statistically significant increase in knowledge of caregivers immediately following the intervention. A statistically significant predictor of improved post-interventional scores was the caregivers’ highest educational level. >60% of caregivers felt a topical agent was essential in burns first aid, which reflected a particular predilection in Asian communities such as in Singapore.


Our study shows it is possible to correct knowledge gaps in the immediate period through a simple pictorial guide, regardless of educational background. Our study also identified a short, structured method for a focused national educational campaign to decrease paediatric burn incidence.

Key Words

Prevention, Caregiver Education, Bystander First Aid, Paediatric Burns


Dr James Mok is a Senior Resident in Plastic Surgery and Adjunct Research Fellow from Duke-NUS Singapore. He is actively involved in the management of paediatric burns, of which amounts to 400 injuries yearly. Dr Mok is keen to reduce the incidence of injury and morbidity through education and device based therapies. He is always exploring new, effective, less painful ways to treat paediatric burns. He is a strong advocate for simple, effective education and prevention, especially on a national level.

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