Here's how to prevent burn injuries
BY SANDY MATHER - Educational Services
Scaldings are the number one burn injury among children, caused by steam, hot bath and /or faucet water, cooking fluids and tipped over hot drinks.
Fire safety quiz:
1. Each year, fire kills more Americans than all natural disasters combined.
a. true b. false
2. For your family's safety, it is most important to:
a. have a fire extinguisher.
b. know the phone number of the fire department.
c. have a home fire escape plan and a smoke alarm.
3. Most home fires start in the:
b. living room.
4. Children as young as two years old are capable of lighting cigarette
lighters and matches.
a. True b. False
5. There should be at least ______ escape routes out of each room in your
6. You should choose a meeting place outside of your home that is:
a. across the street.
b. in front of a tree.
c. away from the road and driveway.
7. Teach children not to hide from firefighters during a fire.
a. True b. False
8. Which of the following is not a flammable liquid?
b. latex paint
9. Part of a fire escape plan includes quickly grabbing your valuables as
you exit your home.
a. True b. False
10. Flammable liquids should always be stored:
a. away from the house.
b. in the basement.
c. under the kitchen sink.
Answers: 1. A (More than 4,000 Americans die each year in fires and more
than 25,000 are injured), 2. C, 3. A (30% start in the kitchen), 4. A, 5.
C, 6. C, 7. A, 8. B, 9. B, 10. A
Burns are a common cause of preventable injury, affecting over one million people in the United States and lead to the hospitalization of nearly 40,000 children each year. Research shows, however, that more than 80 percent of burns to children are preventable.
Burns are a potential hazard in every home. In fact, the majority of burns to children occur primarily at home, in the kitchen or bathroom. Although children can be burned by hot liquids, household appliances, sun exposure, etc., scalding burns are the most common burn injury in younger children. These burns can occur as a child knocks over a coffee cup, grabs the handle and spills a pot of boiling water on the stove or washes up under a too-hot faucet.
The first step to preventing burns is to understand some of the common causes such as:
- scalds, the number one burn injury amongst children, caused by steam, hot bath and /or faucet water, cooking fluids and tipped over hot drinks.
- contact with flames or hot objects from a stove, fireplace, irons and curling irons.
- electrical burns from putting fingers or objects into electrical outlets.
- chemical burns from swallowing and/or spilling chemicals on the skin.
- overexposure to the sun.
Burns are often categorized as first, second or third-degree burns, depending on how badly the skin is damaged.
First degree burns are the mildest of the three and are limited to the top layer of skin. They produce redness, pain and minor swelling and the skin is dry and without blisters. Second-degree burns are more serious and involve the skin layers beneath the top layer. These burns produce blisters, severe pain and redness. Third-degree burns are the most serious type of burn and involve all the layers of the skin and underlying tissue. The surface of a third-degree burn appears dry and can even look waxy white, leathery, brown or charred. There may be little or no pain, or the area may feel numb at first, because of nerve damage.
Most burn injuries can be prevented before they happen. Ways to prevent burn injuries are:
- Turn cold water on first and off last for baths and adjust your hot water heater's thermostat to below 120 degrees F to prevent scald burns.
- Make sure the handles of pots and pans don't stick out over the edge of the stove where they could be bumped.
- Don't leave stirring utensils in pots while cooking.
- Turn off all burners/ovens when they're not in
- Have adequate dry potholders or oven mitts
hanging near your stove.
- Keep hot beverages out of the reach of children.
- Don't use fireworks or sparklers.
- Put child safety covers on all electrical outlets.
- Screen all fireplaces and wood burning stoves.
- Use irons and curling irons with care.
- Use "cool" mist vaporizers and humidifiers.