Did you know that an estimated of 265,000 deaths every year are caused by burns – vast majority in low- and middle-income countries? Burn Awareness week is the first week in February every year and Shriner’s Hospitals for Children is well know for their annual kick-off of a year-long educational campaign. Shriner’s Hospitals for Children suggest 4 safety procedures that can help to prevent future burn injuries for children and adults.
1st-Degree Burn: The least serious type of burn, only involving the outer later of the skin. May cause a bit of swelling, redness, and pain but nothing to panic over. Usually a first-degree burn is classified as a minor burn depending on where the burn is located on the body.
2nd-Degree Burn: Second degree burns cause red, white or dotted skin, blisters, pain, and swelling. Second-degree burns are more serious than first degree burns. The burn has passed the outer layer, but can still be treated as a minor burn. However, if the burn is larger than 3 inches or covers your hand or any other body part, please get medical help immediately.
3rd-Degree Burn: This burn is the most serious burn because; it involves all layers of your skin and underlying fat. In some cases muscles and bones can be affected as well. An individual who is experiencing this type of burn may have difficulty breathing, carbon monoxide poisoning and other toxic effects may be inhaled.
*CALL 911 or emergency help immediately*
According to Shriner’s Hospital for Children, in the U.S., electrical burns and injuries from lighting results in approximately 3,000 admissions to have specialized burn units annually. A few basic electrical safety tips that can be followed are:
· Place covers on all electrical outlets
· Use extreme caution with appliances near water
· Do not overload electrical outlets
· Use correct wattage light bulbs
· Never play with electrical wires
· If wall outlets are cracked or broken, call a certified electrician.
Fires and burns are the third leading cause of deaths that occur in the home, the third-leading cause of injury-related fatalities among children ages 1-9, and the fourth most prevalent cause for children ages 10-14 in the U.S. Some prevention tips and precautions for fire safety are:
· Install and maintain smoke detectors
· Never leave food that is cooking unattended
· Do not place electrical cords under rugs, or over nails in high traffic areas
· Use fireplace screens and have your chimney cleaned annually
· Replace mattresses made prior to 2007, when flammability standards were first used
· Have an escape plan and practice with your children in case a fire occurs.
· Stay low to the ground as you exit, when a fire occurs
*If you can’t exit, yell for HELP or Call 911 if you have a phone*
Use Gasoline Safety
Approximately 2,400 building fires are caused by gasoline annually in the U.S. Following these few gasoline safety tips can help you and your children stay safe:
· Keep gasoline out of the sight of children
· Never use gasoline inside your home
· Never use gasoline as a cleaning fluid
· Do not smoke while handling gasoline
· Use caution when fueling vehicles
· Never use gasoline in place of kerosene
According to Safe Kids USA, an average of 12 children ages 14 and under die from scald burn injuries each year. Scalds (1st degree burn) caused by hot liquids, steam, or foods, are the most common burn injury for children 4 years and under. A few simple preventative tips for scalds are:
· Lower the temperature settings on water heaters to 120° F (49° C) or less
· Check the temperature of the water; if it is hot for an adult, it is too hot for a child
· Always supervise children in the kitchen and dinning areas
· Keep children from everything that is hot
· Keep pot handles turned inward; use oven mitts or potholders
· Not using deep fryers while children are present
Shriner’s Hospitals for children help to raise awareness of burn injuries and ways to prevent them by teaching adults and children, to be burn aware specifically in their homes. Be prepared, Be safe, Be aware.