National Burn Awareness Week (NBAW) is being observed this week, February 5-11, and is sponsored by the American Burn Association. During this week, burn, fire and life safety educators are encouraged to unite in sharing burn awareness and prevention messages in communities across the country.
Burn injuries are one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury in the United States. Roughly 450,000 people receive treatment in emergency departments for non-fatal burn injuries related to fire and hot liquids each year.
Children, the elderly, and the disabled are especially vulnerable to burn injuries. Almost one third of all burn injuries occur in children under the age of 15. Caregivers can take this opportunity to teach children about burn and scald safety.
The National Scald Prevention Campaign recommends the following tips to prevent scald burns:
- Set your water heater at 120 degrees F or just below the medium setting.
- Use a thermometer to test the water coming out of your bath water tap.
- Run your hand through bath water to test for hot spots.
- Use back burners and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so children cannot pull them down.
- Use oven mitts when cooking or handling hot food and drinks.
- Stir and test food cooked in the microwave before serving. Open heated containers away from you from back to front.
- Keep children away from the stove when cooking by using a safety gate for younger children and marking with tape a three-foot “no-kid zone” for older children.
- When consuming hot drinks, keep them away from the edge of tables and counters, and avoid using tablecloths and placemats.
- Use a travel mug with a tight-fitting lid for all hot drinks.
- Never hold or carry a child while you have a hot drink in your hand.
Visit the American Burn Association’s website to learn more about National Burn Awareness Week and the ongoing campaigns to raise awareness about burn and scald prevention.