Most people understand that burns are painful. Few people understand just how painful and serious these injuries often are. While certain occupations may expose a person to an increased risk of burn injuries, almost everyone faces some risk of suffering a burn-related injury. Defective products and everyday acts like cooking or making coffee can expose the people in your house to the danger of a burn. It is important to take steps to limit the potential for harm and to know what to do in the event a burn injury does occur. This is particularly important for those with small children or elderly people in the household.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that more than 1 million Americans are treated for burns every year. Burns are the third most common cause of fatal home injuries. A disproportionate number of burn victims are children or elderly people. Somewhere between one-third and one-half of all burn injuries are the result of hot liquids or steam. These scalding injuries are particularly common among young burn victims. The CDC reports that more than 300 young people are treated in U.S. emergency rooms every day because of burn injuries. On average, two children a day are killed by burn-related wounds.
Understanding the threat of burns is only part of what it takes to deal with the problem. Next week we will look at what steps you should take to treat burns, as well as looking at situations to avoid in preventing burns.
Source: The Bakersfield Californian, “Never underestimate a burn injury,” by Doug Greener, 21 April 2013