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first-degree burn

  • Burn Awareness Week

    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

    • 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

    SOURCE:  American Burn Association:  Burn Incidence & Treatment in the U.S., 2013  Fact Sheet



  • General Burn First Aid Information

    Image of burned skin on arm being rinsed with cold water

    • Burns can result from heat (thermal burn), electricity, or exposure to chemicals.
    • The majority of burns should be seen by a doctor. Some first-degree burns, such as mild sun burn, can be treated without doctor care.
    • Never apply home remedies such as butter or baking soda to a burn. Many ointments and home remedies applied topically actually trap the heat, causing further damage to the burned area and can lead to infection.
    • First Aid treatment for burns should focus on keeping the burned area clean, preventing and/or treatment for shock, and pain control.
    • Severe burns (second and third degree burns) often lead to shock. Shock is a life-threatening condition and should be addressed immediately. Call 9-1-1 if you suspect the casualty is experiencing shock.
      1. Symptoms of shock include cold, clammy skin, pale or grey skin color, nausea, vomiting, and/or shallow, rapid breathing.

    Content excerpted from the Urgent First Aid Guide used by permission Copyright 2013
    All Rights Reserved. Get a full copy of the First Aid Guide for under $1!

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