National Burn Awareness Week February 5th-11th

National Burn Awareness Week February 5th-11th

Scalds: Hot Liquids Burn Like Fire

San Diego, CA, Burn injuries continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury where children, the elderly, and the disabled are especially vulnerable. Almost one-third of all burn injuries occur in children under the age of 15. Scald burns make up a significant number of burn related injuries treated in hospitals (32% of all burn-related injuries reported by hospitals to the American Burn Association were from scalds). A scald is a burn injury caused by hot liquid, steam, or food. The American Burn Association and the Burn Institute are providing information relating scald burns for our community during Burn Awareness Week, February 5th-11th. The Burn Institute will hold a Burn Survivor Family Picnic to kick off the week on February 4, 11am-1pm at Admiral Baker Park.

Significant research and medical advances have dramatically improved burn care and treatment, aided rehabilitation, shortened hospital stays, and increased burn survival rates. Aftercare support for the physical and emotional effects of burns has also played a key role in the successful reintegration of burn survivors into our communities. However, prevention of scald burns is always preferable to treatment and can be accomplished through simple changes in behavior and small adjustments in the home environment.

Primary Prevention of Scald Injury while Cooking

  • The best time to cook is when you are wide awake, and not drowsy from medications or alcohol.
  • Always wipe clean the stove, oven, exhaust fan to prevent grease buildup.
  • Wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking.
  • Keep a pan lid and dry potholders or oven mitts near you EVERY time you cook.
  • Turn pot or pan handles toward the back of the stove.
  • When heating food in the microwave, use microwavesafe cookware that allows steam to escape.
  • Allow food to rest before removing from the microwave.
  • When frying, use a pan lid or splash guard to prevent grease splatter.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly. Remain in the home while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you to check on your cooking.
  • After cooking, check the kitchen to make sure all burners and other appliances are turned off.

Secondary Prevention of Scald Injury while Cooking

If your food does catch on fire…

  • Cover the pan with its lid. A cookie sheet works too. Leave covered until the pan is cool. NEVER move the pot or carry it outside – the pot is too hot to handle, and the contents may splash, causing a severe burn.
  • Turn the heat off. With the lid on and the heat off, the fire should quickly put itself out. NEVER use water to put out a kitchen fire. Water will cause the oil to splatter and spread the fire or scald you as it vaporizes.
  • If the fire is inside the oven or microwave, keep the door shut and turn it off. Keep closed until the oven is cool.
  • If the fire gets out of control- get out, stay out and call 9-1-1. Don’t return inside for any reason.