Burn Awareness Week was held this month. Did you know that your children’s skin is thinner than older children and adults, and their skin burns at lower temperatures and more deeply. Scald and burns can happen to any age group.
Since burns are recognized as one of the most painful and devastating injuries a person can sustain and survive, we want to arm you with the tools to keep your children safe from this devastating injury.
It is important to remember that children, especially those ages 4 and under, may not perceive danger; have less control of their environment; may lack the ability to escape a life threatening burn situation; and may not be able to tolerate the physical stress of a burn injury.
Here are some tips to practice at home to protect children:
• Establish a safe hot water temperature by setting your water heater to deliver water at a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit or by installing anti-scald devices.
• Do not place hot foods or liquids near the counters edge or within a child’s reach.
• Do not hold children while cooking or drinking hot liquids.
• Make your stove area a “Kid-Free” zone (3-feet is a good distance).
• Keep electrical cords out of children’s reach.
• Teach your kids that hot things can burn.
• Test your water at your faucets. It should be less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Always supervise your children in or near the bathtub. Before placing a child in a bath or getting in the bath yourself, test the water. Test the water by moving your hand, wrist and forearm through the water. The water should feel warm, not hot, to the touch.
• Always place hot food or liquids in the center of the table.
• Allow microwave food to cool before eating and open the door slowly, away from your face. Steam burns are painful.
• Choose prepackaged soups containers that have a wide base or, to avoid the possibility of a spill, pour the soup into a traditional bowl after heating.
• If you experience a burn, call 911 immediately. Treat a burn right away. Cool the burn with cool water for three to five minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help if needed, when in doubt get help. Avoid creams or salves.
And as always if you need more information on Burn Awareness or anything else feel free to stop by or call the Brainerd Fire Department or myself. We are here to serve 24 hours, seven days a week to assist you. And as I always say, be safe out there!!
Kevin H. Stunek is the Brainerd Fire Chief