Each year, over 486,000 individuals were seen in emergency departments, minor emergency clinics or physician’s offices for the treatment of a burn injury in the United States and Canada. In 2016 alone, there were 3,390 recorded deaths from fire and smoke inhalation injuries. The majority of these injuries were preventable.
That’s why this week, we’re marking National Burn Awareness Week, February 3-9, with the American Burn Association and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)The last couple of years, we have been tracking the MOB or “mechanisms of burns”, which is the many different ways that burns can occur. We were introduced to the MOB – Christy “The Flame” Candles, Chris “Hot Stuff” Chemicals, Larry “The Steamer” Liquids, Thomas “The Surface” Irons, and William “The Wire” Electricity – and Police Commissioner Sean O’Safety.
This year, Police Commissioner Sean O’Safety is focusing on Larry “The Steamer” Liquids: Wanted for over 376,950 burn injuries related to consumer household products and appliances between 2013-2017 in the US alone. May be disguised as bath water, your morning coffee, or even microwavable soup.
Children, older adults, and people with disabilities are particularly at risk from scald burns because of motor skills, reaction time, thinner skin layers, inability to self-rescue, and the effects of pre-existing health conditions.
85-90% of scald burns are associated with cooking, serving, or drinking hot liquids. Burns are caused when they are spilled, drunk too fast, or when they are pulled down or knocked over.
You can help prevent scald burns around your home:
- Help us teach kids that hot things burn – including hot liquids and steam! Did you know that our pre-school and kindergarten program is especially designed for that age group and includes lessons on how hot things burn? And that it includes hot liquid and steam safety so kids can recognize where danger might lurk at home? Help kids practice at home by asking them about what they learn!
- Set water heaters to 120 degrees, which is just below the medium setting. 41% of urban homes have water that is set too high.
- 100 degrees is a safe temperature for bath time. Test water for children before letting them get in – and keep them from touching the faucet when using hot water! ALWAYS supervise children around the bathtub!
- Everyone should remember to cook safely, especially older adults.
- Keep children a minimum of 3 feet back from the stove and oven when they are in use. NEVER hold a child while cooking!
- Open microwaved food away from the face. Go slowly to avoid being burned by the steam or spilling. Allow microwaved food to cool properly before eating and consider putting the food, particularly pre-packaged soup cups in traditional dishes before eating.
- Never heat a baby bottle in the microwave and instead heat bottles in warm water from the faucet.
If you or your kids do run into Larry “The Steamer” Liquids, run the burn under cool water for 3-5 minutes and then cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help if needed.
Can you and your kids help Police Commissioner Sean O’Safety? How many disguises of Larry “The Steamer” Liquids can you and your family find around your home?