It’s National Burn Awareness Week and this year’s theme centers around contact burns.
A contact burn is when a hot surface damages the skin. In the last decade, almost half of contact burns were sustained by children under five. This could come from scalding water or the lit burner of a stove.
Preventing burn injury can save lives, and minimize the physical and psychological pain through the sometimes long road to recovery, according to the American Burn Association.
The American Burn Association list several tips for preventing various types of burns, including scalding, electrical and summer burns.
In 2016, about 486,000 people were treated for burns. This number includes 40,000 people who were hospitalized for a burn injury and 30,000 who were treated at a designated burn center.
Below are some tips from the American Burn Association on preventing contact burns:
- Supervise children around hot objects at all times.
- Stand at least 3 feet away from hot outdoor objects. Keep the area clear of hazards someone might trip over. If there is a nearby fire, from a cauldron or grill among others, limit any alcohol consumption.
- Protect your feet from hot objects by wearing shoes when walking on hot pavement or sand. Keep pets off hot pavement too.
- Turn heating pads and blankets off before sleep, especially with older people who may have trouble feeling the start of a burn.
- Always use hot pads whenever cooking. Long oven mitts are best when needing to reach in or over hot surfaces, such in an oven or over a grill. Assume all pots and pans are hot.
- Remember to treat items coming from the microwave as you would items from the oven. Limit microwave use by children.
- Unplug tools when not in use, and always treat tools as if they are still hot. Keep out of reach of children.
For more information on preventing burns or how to treat them, speak with your health care provider.