Burn Awareness Week Highlights Potential Personal Burn Injuries and Prevention
Scalding and burn injuries affect all ages, but young children and the elderly are the most vulnerable. This year, the week of February 1st through 7th is Burn Awareness Week, according to the American Burn Association, and will highlight prevention and treatment for scald and burn injuries, as well as what parents can do to keep their children safe.
“We see things all the time where it happened that quickly. I turned my head for just one second and in that instance a small child could reach up and pull something down on them,” said Battalion Chief Rich Jones of the Charlottesville, NC fire department.
Jones says that burn injuries from stoves are incredibly common among young children. Statistically, a child is burned every 4 minutes in the US.
“When you are cooking in your kitchen it’s very simple. Something you can do to prevent injuries; take your pot handle, go ahead and turn them completely inside where you still have the ability with an oven mitt to reach over and get to them, but if a small child came up they can’t necessarily reach,” said Jones.
Elderly adults, who have spent a lifetime cooking for themselves, are vulnerable to burn injuries in the kitchen, as well. Older adults have thinner skin, and do not heal as quickly as young or middle aged adults.
Senior citizens, their families, and their caregivers, should take a few steps to help prevent burn injuries in the kitchen, including:
- Use oven mitts instead of towels when removing food from the oven.
- Put a pan lid over pans and pots that contain hot grease or oil to prevent splatter injuries.
- Make sure the smoke alarm is nearby and in good working condition.
- Make sure you know the best “escape plan” for your home. If the senior citizen is in a retirement home, independent living facility, assisted living facility, or nursing home, these facilities must by law have posted fire escape plan notices. Ask administrators at the facility if you do not see them.
Children and the elderly are not only prone to burn injuries in the kitchen, but the bathroom as well. Because their skin is thinner, these two age groups can suffer scalding injuries at lower temperatures. Parents of young children, and caretakers of elderly adults, should check bath and shower water to make sure it is below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Even if the temperature is 120 degrees, a five minute exposure could result in third-degree burns” in adults.
The CPSC also recommends contacting your local electric or gas company for help adjusting the temperature on your hot water heater, depending on whether the heater is powered by gas or electricity. Consider having the thermostat lowered below 120 degrees Fahrenheit as the maximum temperature to help prevent these kinds of burn injuries.
South Carolina Burn Injury Lawyers
Although it is important to take steps in your home to prevent scalding or burn injuries, these types of injuries are not always your fault. Sometimes a defective product like a stove, hot water heater, pot or pan can cause the injury. Exposure on another’s premises to hot steam or chemicals can lead to different kinds of burn injuries. If you or a loved one have suffered a severe burn injury from a defective product or another’s negligence, you may feel afraid in the face of long-lasting medical bills and a suffering loved one. However, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation that can help alleviate some of your worries. Contact the South Carolina Burn injury attorneys at the Strom Law Firm today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800