The first week of February is observed as Burn Awareness week. According to the American Burn Association, this week is, “…a window of opportunity for organizations to mobilize burn, fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message in our communities.” Every year over 486,000 burns occurs, most needing moderate to heavy medical attention, which makes this week all the more important. This year especially, many organizations are focusing on the theme of Scald. They want to spread awareness about the statistics of burns due to scalding and, more importantly, about how to prevent them.
Children and Burns Injuries
Each day over 300 children are seen in emergency rooms and 2 children die from burn injuries. Children 16 years old and younger represent approximately 26% of all admissions to burn center hospitals. These large numbers are mostly due to a child’s innate immaturity and misunderstanding or misuse of home appliances. They also have slightly less cognitive motor skills and depend on adults to tell them when something is too hot or dangerous to ingest. This leads children to burn their skin or scald their mouths. These reasons also apply to older adults as well. To help lessen these numbers, here are some things you can do:
Tap Water Safety
- Make sure water is below 125 degrees at all times because anything above 130 degrees can lead to burns or scalding.
- When older babies and toddlers are in the bath, turn them away from the facet, to lessen the chance of them fiddling with the hot water and potentially cause the temperature to rise dangerously.
- Test the water as it comes out of the faucet or tap by using a thermometer and run your hand through it to check for hot spots.
Hot Beverages Safety
- Don’t carry a child and a hot drink at the same time, as this could end with you accidentally spilling the drink on the child.
- Consider using a travel mug or bottle with a secure and possibly child-proof lid around young children to lessen the chances of it spilling and causing harm to the child or the child drinking it without your knowledge.
- Try to keep hot drinks and meals, such as soups, teas, or steaming oatmeal away from the counter and table edges so children don’t accidentally cause it to fall or spill on them, or so curious fingers refrain from dipping into them.
- Try to keep children away from heated stoves or hot pans and plates, as they tend to be unaware of the danger of touching these things when they’re hot.
- Always use oven mitts and pot holders, and even stress their importance to children so they can further grasp the need for safety in the kitchen.
- Test food to determine the temperature before giving it to a child and always open hot containers away from you and children in order to prevent steam burns.
To attain more information about scalding and burn injuries, visit the American Burn Association here. Remember to keep safe and to spread awareness about burn injuries today.
American Burn Association. Burn Awareness Week. Retrieved from: http://ameriburn.org/prevention/burn-awareness-week/.
Mass.gov. (2019). February 3-9, 2019 is Burn Awareness Week. Retrieved from: https://www.mass.gov/news/february-3-9-2019-is-burn-awareness-week.