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Simple Ways to Prevent Burns and Scalds

Simple Ways to Prevent Burns and Scalds

This year’s Burn Awareness Week theme is Burning Issues in the Kitchen! The purpose of Burn Awareness Week is to raise awareness of the potential dangers of burns accidents at home or the workplace.

How Big is the Problem?

The American Burn Association estimates that close to 486,000 Americans receive treatment for burn-related injuries every year.

  • 3,275 people die every year due to fire and smoke inhalation accidents
  • Burn-related injuries result in 40,000 hospitalizations
  • Scalding is the most common cause of burn injuries in children aged four or younger, accounting for close to 200,000 yearly injuries
  • Close to half of all scalding accidents are due to spilled food or drinks. The other half is the result of scalding tap water or contact with hot objects such as irons, heaters, and stoves
  • An estimated 15,000 children need hospitalization each year for burn-related injuries
  • About 1,100 children die every year from fire and burn injuries

Simple Ways for to You to Prevent Burns and Scalds at Home

Reduce Water Temperature

If you have a water heater at home, check the settings to ensure the water temperature is below 120°F.

The ideal bath water temperature is around 100°F, making sure you always test the water temperature of your shower or bathtub before allowing your child to go in.

Establish No Zones for Your Small Children and Pets

Teach your children to keep a safe distance from the stove, fireplace, grill, space heaters, and radiators.

If you have small children or pets, consider blocking access to the stove and laundry room while cooking or ironing.

Never leave a small child unattended in the kitchen or a room with a fireplace, heater, curling iron, or iron, and always keep these hot devices out of children’s reach.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Test Food Temperature Before Feeding Infants and Small Children

Avoid heating a baby’s bottle in the microwave as the milk might heat unevenly. Additionally, always shake the baby bottle to ensure the contents have an equal temperature and test before feeding your baby.

If you are feeding your young child solid foods, avoid using metal utensils as these can become very hot and scald your child’s mouth.

Avoid Hot Spills

Keep hot drinks and food away from counter or table edges where your child can reach them. Likewise, avoid using tablecloths or placemats that children can pull on and accidentally scald themselves.

When cooking, make sure to position pot handles facing inward towards the rear of the stove. Use the back burners when possible to prevent someone accidentally bumping into it and spilling hot contents.

Avoid cooking, drinking, or carrying hot foods or beverages while holding a child in your arms.

When to Go to The ER

First-degree burns typically don’t require medical attention. However, if you notice blistering and the injury is painful, this is a sign of a deeper burn, most likely second-degree. Third and fourth-degree burns are severe burns, and often the victim doesn’t experience much pain because the burn has damaged the nerves.

If you think you or a loved one suffered third-degree burns, call 911 immediately. Failing to get prompt medical assistance can result in complications including infections, dehydration, nerve damage, shock, and sepsis, a life-threatening condition.

You should rush to the ER if:
  • The burn is on your face
  • The size of the burn is larger than three inches
  • The burn is a result of an electrical shock
  • The pain is progressively getting worse
  • You develop a fever
  • Your injury has a foul smell, or if there is pus oozing from it

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