According to the American Burn Association, an individual living in the United States sustains a burn injury every minute that’s serious enough to require treatment.
Burns can happen to almost anyone, anywhere, at any time. This article focuses on some facts that everyone should know about burn safety. Burns can be as minor as accidentally touching a toaster, a frying pan, or a hot stove; or as chronic as being in a home or vehicle fire.
Facts About Burns.
- According to the American Burn Association, about 450,000 patients receive hospital treatment for burns every year. This fact excludes burn injuries treated in clinics, private medical offices, or community health centers.
- Approximately 3,400 deaths occur from burn injuries annually in the U.S.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, burns and fires are the third leading cause of death in the American home.
- Of the 3,400 U.S burn injury deaths per year:
- 2,550 are caused by residential fires.
- 300 are caused by vehicle crashes.
- And 550 are due to multiple other causes such as scalding, flames, smoke inhalation, and electricity.
Children’s Burn Injuries:
- About 1,100 children per year die from fires and burn injuries.
- Approximately 15,000 children require hospital treatment after burn injuries each year.
- Scalding is most common in children under four years old, leading to 200,000 injuries per year.250,000 children under 17 seek medical attention for burn injuries annually.
- 50% of scalds result from spilled food and hot drinks; the other 50% are typically from hot tap water, irons, stoves, and heaters.
Preventing Children’s Burns
Here are some burn safety prevention tips from the American Burn Association:
- Babies and older adults have thinner skin than the rest of us, so they are more at risk for deep burns at lower temperatures and shorter exposure times.
- You should never carry hot liquids while holding or carrying a child; put a lid on your coffee or tea to prevent scalding burns.
- If you’re in the bathroom, are bathing a child, and have to leave, take them with you to prevent burns from hot water.
- 62% of people treated in burn centers for scalding burns are actually children five and under.
- You should never place hot liquids low coffee tables, end tables, or the edge of any table or desk that a child can reach.
- Do not use the front two burners on your stoves if you have a toddler or young child who can reach up.
Burn Prevention / Cooking Safety Information.
Did you know that 47% of all home fires are caused by cooking? That’s why it’s the #1 cause of home and kitchen fires.
- Keep young children at least three feet from a stove to prevent grease burns and oil scalds.
- Use microwave-safe cookware that allows steam to escape.
- When frying, always use a pan lid or splash guard to prevent grease splatter.
- Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking and turn off the stove when you’re done.
What to Do If Your Food Catches on Fire.
- Don’t panic.
- Turn the Heat off.
- Cover the pan with its lid or a cookie sheet to cut off the oxygen – and leave covered until the pan is cool.
- Do NOT use water to try to put out a kitchen fire; it will cause oil to splatter, the fire will spread, and you may be scalded.
- If your fire is in your oven or microwave, keep the door shut and turn off the heat/power. Then keep it closed until the oven or microwave is cool.
How to Treat a Burn.
For minor or first-degree burns, you should NEVER use butter, oil, water, toothpaste (old wives’ tale), or ice. Instead:
- Cool the burn with cool (not cold) water and cool compresses.
- Protect the burn by covering it with sterile, non-adhesive bandages or clean cloths and antibiotic ointments, aloe vera, or honey.
- Treat your pain: Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen (Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or naproxen (Aleve).
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