Today is the first day of National Burn Awareness Week.
While we've shared information about How to Treat Thermal Burns
, burn awareness is about recognizing the dangers of burns, and planning to avoid them in the first place.
While workplace safety and OSHA requirements call for burn safety
training and engineering controls to help raise awareness and reduce burn injuries - at home it is up to each of us to assure safe practices are followed and safeguards are in place.
This year, the focus of Burn Awareness Week is on scalds. While among the most common types of thermal burns, scalds are often overlooked as nuisances or minor annoyances. In truth, they can be devastating injuries, causing shock
, scarring and death.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2013 alone, an estimated 68,536 scald burn injuries associated with consumer household appliances and products (e.g. stoves, coffee makers, tableware, cookware, bathtubs, etc.) were seen in hospital emergency rooms in the U.S.; 15,588 (23%) of these occurred to children 4 years old and younger.
While a vast majority of scald burns can be prevented with simple precautions such as setting appliances at the back of counters while on, adjusting water heater to lower temperatures, and serving hot foods on plates rather than bringing the cookware directly to the table, lack of concern or awareness leads to mistakes that cause these injuries and accidents. Worse, "old wives tales" or failure to have proper burn remedies
at hand lead to bad pre-hospital treatment of scald burn injuries that result in the needs for expensive and painful corrective surgeries, or life-long disfigurement.
Annual United States Burm Injury Statistics
SOURCE: American Burn Association: Burn Incidence & Treatment in the U.S., 2013 Fact Sheet
- 3,400 deaths
- 450,000 burn injuries treated
- 30,000 hospitalized in specialized burn centers
- 1/3 of people admitted to burn centers are for scald injuries