In conjunction with 2020 National Burn Awareness Week: “Contact Burns – Hot Surfaces Damage Skin!”, the American Burn Association and the Lombard Fire Department Bureau of Fire Prevention, are providing information and helpful precautions relating to contact burns.
Burn injuries continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury, with children, the elderly, and the disabled listed as the most vulnerable. The primary causes of injury include fire/flame, scalds, contact with hot objects, electrical, and chemical burns, all of which occur mostly in the home.
The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System reports that roughly 70,000 people went to the hospital emergency department because of contact burns in 2018 (American Burn Association).
Prevention of contact burns is always preferable to treatment and can be accomplished through simple changes in behavior and the home environment.
- Supervise children around hot objects at all times.
- Stand at least 3 feet away from hot outdoor objects.
- Keep area clear of trip hazards. Limit 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.
- Have hot pads available 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 such as these when not in use, and always treat as if they are still hot. Keep out of reach of children nor play yards, a safe distance from counter- or stovetops, hot liquids, hot surfaces or other cooking hazards.
For more information about preventing scald burns, contact the American Burn Association at (312) 642-9260 or www.ameriburn.org.