Burn injuries result in thousands of hospitalizations each year. Burns can be extremely painful injuries that cause long-term effects, such as disfiguring scars and permanent nerve damage. When it comes to burns, prevention is always better than cure. Learn top burn injury safety and prevention tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Be Careful in the Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the most common places for residential burn injuries. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, cooking is the leading cause of house fires and related injuries. In 2021, fire departments were called to respond to more than 170,000 home cooking fires in the U.S. These disasters resulted in over 3,000 injuries and 135 deaths.
Keep yourself safe in the kitchen by never leaving your stove unattended. Unattended equipment was the number one factor in home cooking fires in 2021 (37 percent). If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off. Avoid turning the heat up too high; ignition can occur if grease starts to boil and smoke. Turn pot handles inward so they cannot be knocked over. Use oven mitts to prevent contact with hot objects or steam.
Keep Children Away From Burn Injury Risks
Children are especially at risk of burn injuries. John Hopkins Medicine reports that burn injuries and fires are the fifth most common cause of accidental death in children. Help improve child safety by keeping kids away from common burn injury risks, such as:
- Deep fryers
- Electrical outlets and cords
- Fireplaces and open fires
- Harmful chemicals
- Hot asphalt
- Hot water and steam
- Non-flame retardant clothing and costumes
- Overheated food, milk or formula
- Space heaters
- Stoves and ovens
- Tablecloths, if hot items are on the table
The most common child burn injuries are scalds (65 percent) and contact burns (20 percent). Teach children fire safety from an early age, such as what to do in case of a house fire. Make sure all children’s toys and clothing are federally regulated in terms of flammability.
Avoid Common Fire Hazards
Promote burn safety by identifying and avoiding common causes of house fires. You can decrease your risk of suffering a burn injury in a house fire by maintaining your home’s appliances. Check all electrical cords for frayed or exposed wires. Keep appliances unplugged when not in use. Before using a space heater that has been in storage all winter, take it to a professional for a safety inspection. Replace any appliance that is old, worn, broken or faulty.
What to Do if You Suffer a Burn Injury
If you suffer a burn injury, how you should respond depends on the type and severity of the burn. There are four types of burns: thermal, electrical, chemical and radiation. If the source of your burn injury is contact with an open flame, a hot object or steam, you have a thermal burn that should be treated with first aid if it is minor or a trip to the hospital if it is moderate to severe. In general, if a burn has broken the skin, creates blisters or covers a large area of the body, you need professional medical care.
Electrical, chemical and radiation burns require specialized care and medical treatment. Always go to a hospital after suffering these types of burns, even if they appear minor or only affect a small part of your body. For chemical burns, call your local Poison Control Center for help treating the burn. Follow all instructions and recommendations made by your doctor as you heal from a burn injury. Then, if you believe your burn injury was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, contact a Kansas City personal injury attorney at Dickerson Oxton, LLC for legal advice. You may be able to recover compensation.