Provided by Prince William Fire & Rescue
Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue has joined forces with the American Burn Association, International Association of Firefighters, International Association of Fire Chiefs, Safe Kids Worldwide and the Federation of Burn Foundations for Burn Awareness Week, February 1 – 7, 2016, a public safety campaign providing information relating to scald burns in an effort to eliminate and/or reduce burn injuries.
The campaign’s theme, “It Can Happen in a Flash with a Splash,” (www.flashsplash.org) focuses on the prevention of liquid and steam burns. Each year, more than 450,000 burn injuries occur in the U.S. requiring serious medical treatment.
Between 2007 and 2013, burn center admissions increased from 29.8% to 33.7% due to scald burns. PWL Scald injuries are painful requiring prolonged treatment and may result in lifelong scarring and even death.
Although anyone can sustain a scald burn, infants, young children, older adults and people with disabilities are at high risk for these types of injuries. These high risk groups are also more likely to require hospitalization, suffer complications and experience a difficult recovery. Most burn injuries occur in the person’s own home, yet the vast majority of these injuries could have easily been prevented. Prevention of scalds is always preferable to treatment and can be accomplished through simple changes in behavior and the home environment.
Tips to Stay Safe:
- Set your water heater at 120 degrees F/48 degrees C or just below the medium setting.
- Use a thermometer to test the water coming out of your bath water tap.
- Run your hand through bath water to test for hot spots.
- Use back burners and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so children cannot pull them down.
- Use oven mitts when cooking or handling hot food and drinks.
- Stir and test food cooked in the microwave before serving. Open heated containers away from you from back to front.
- Keep children away from the stove when cooking by using a safety gate for younger children and marking with tape a three-foot “no-kid zone” for older children.
- Keep hot drinks away from the edge of tables and counters and avoid using tablecloths and placemats.
- Use a “travel mug” with a tight-fitting lid for all hot drinks.
- Never hold or carry a child while you have a hot drink in your hand.
Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee states, “Scalds are just one of several burning issues in which health and safety officials have joined forces as advocates for public education in the prevention of burn injuries. Help us help you by being “Burn Aware.”
For more information on burn awareness and preventing scald burns, visit the American Burn Association www.ameriburn.org, Safe Kids USA www.safekids.org/safetytips/field_risks/burns-and-scalds and Shriners Hospital for Children at http://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/education/burn-awareness.