National Burn Awareness Week, Feb. 6 to 12

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Provided by Prince William Fire & Rescue

According to the American Burn Association, children, the elderly, and the disabled are most vulnerable to burn injuries. Each year, an estimated 400,000 people, in the U.S. sustain burn injuries requiring medical treatment. Primary causes of these injuries are fire-flame, scalds, hot objects, electrical and chemicals. Today, due to significant research and medical advances, 96.8% of these individuals will survive but will have endured serious scarring, life-long physical disabilities, and adjustment difficulties.

National Burn Awareness Week is Feb. 6 to 12. This year’s theme is Burning Issues in the Kitchen. Risk of injury there is common due to scald burns, improperly used appliances and distracted cooking. To keep you and your loved ones safe, follow these simple safety tips when in the kitchen:

  • Prevent splatter burns. When frying, use a pan lid to prevent splatter burns.
  • Keep your stovetop clear. Always wipe clean the stove, oven, exhaust fan to prevent grease buildup.
  • Dress appropriately. Wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking to avoid burn injury.
  • Stay alert. The best time to cook is when you are wide awake and not drowsy from medications or alcohol.
  • Never leave the stove unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave, turn off the stove.
  • Keep children safe in the kitchen. o Have a “kid-free-zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Monitor your appliances. After cooking, check the kitchen to make sure all burners and other appliances are turned off.

Additional Safety Tips

  • 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 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.

Chief Tim Keen of the Prince William County Fire and Rescue System says, “Help Us, Help You, by taking the necessary precautions when cooking to avoid injuries or worse.”

For more information on burn awareness and preventing burn injuries, visit the American Burn Association.

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