January 22, 2019
Contact: Debra McKell
BRADENTON, FL (January 22, 2019) – Approximately every minute, someone in the United States sustains a burn injury serious enough to require treatment, according to the American Burn Association. During National Burn Awareness Week, February 3 -8, 2019, Blake Medical Center wants to bring attention to a growing reason for burn admissions: scald burns, which rose from 29.8% to 34.7% from 2007 to 2017.
While scald burns can happen to anyone, young children, older adults and people with disabilities are more likely to suffer from such injuries. An overwhelming 85% majority of scald burns occur in the home.
“Young children and older adults have thinner skin, so hot liquids can cause deeper burns with even a brief exposure,” explained Michael Van Vliet, MD, of the Blake Burn Center. “Mobility issues that may impact people with disabilities or special needs, also places them in this high risk group. The good news is that many scald burns are preventable through diligent scald prevention practices.”
The following are steps you can take to make your home safer, according to the American Burn Association’s Scald Prevention Campaign:
Hot Food & Beverage Scalds
- Establish a safe area in the kitchen, out of the traffic path between the stove and sink, where children can safely play, supervised.
- Provide safe toys for children, not pots, pans and cooking utensils. Young children may have difficulty distinguishing between a “safe” or “play” pan and a real one, which they may reach for on the stove.
- Cook on back burners when children are present.
- Keep all pot handles turn back, away from the edge of the stove.
- Lift lids from hot foods away from you face and arm.
- Check all handles on appliances and cooking utensils to guarantee they are secure.
- Consider the weight of pots and pans. Lift only those items you can easily handle.
- Always use oven mitts or potholders when moving pots of hot liquid or food.
- Never carry hot beverages while holding or carrying a child.
- If necessary to move hot liquids while using a wheel chair, place a large, sturdy tray with a solid lip in your lap, to decrease the risk of lap burns.
- A tray in the lap may also prevent burns from hot foods or beverages if someone is unsteady or shaky.
- Microwaved foods and liquids may reach temperatures greater than boiling without the appearance of bubbling. Stir and test food thoroughly before serving or eating.
Tap Water & Thermostat Settings Scald Prevention
- The safest temperature for bathing is about 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Adequate and constant supervision is the single most important factor in preventing tap water scalds. Children or anyone who may have difficulty removing themselves from hot water on their own, or people who don’t recognize the danger associated with turning on hot water should, never be left alone.
- Do not allow young children or a person with a mental disability to adjust the water temperatures.
- Seat young children in the bath facing away from faucets. Turn the faucet to cold.
- Set water heater thermostats to deliver at a temperature no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit; this is the upper limit to safety, not a target to be aimed at
- While 120 degrees if considered safety, the research was done on adults and for children and older adults it may be potentially dangerous
- Install anti-scald devices
Other Common Causes of Scald Burs
- Local potpourri pots where they can’t be tipped and out of the reach of children.
- Try to replace hot steam vaporizers with a cool mist humidifier or vaporizer.
- Do not remove or release pressure valves on home radiators; repair professionally.
- Do not remove car radiator caps until the engine has fully cooled.
About Blake Medical Center
Blake Medical Center is a 383-bed, acute-care, full service hospital and a leading provider of quality, affordable healthcare serving our community since 1973. Blake offers a wide range of healthcare services including a Level II Trauma Center, burn care center, open-heart surgery, cancer care, joint replacement, back surgery and rehabilitation among many others. Blake is pleased to provide free health education, screenings and support groups to improve the health of our community. For more information on hospital services, events or a free physician referral, call 1-888-359-3552.