Blake Medical Center
February 02, 2020

Bradenton, FL - Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Florida, is celebrating Burn Awareness Week February 2-8. This year's theme from the American Burn Association is "Contact Burns - Hot Surfaces Damage Skin!"

"Playground equipment and hot pavement are common causes of contact burns, so they don't always happen in the places you'd expect," said Dr. Michael Van Vliet, medical director of the burn center.

In 2019, the American Academy of Professional Coders™ approximated that every minute someone in the United States endured a burn injury severe enough to require treatment. Dr. Van Vliet said many of those injuries could be avoided with a little caution and preparation.

"Larger burns might not necessarily come from these items, but the injuries they do cause can be deep," Dr. Van Vliet said.

Some safety tips include:

  • When children are around, create a three-foot safe zone around any hot surface, whether it is a stove, fireplace or grill.
  • When cooking, keep hot pots and pans toward the back of the stove and away from countertop edges.
  • Before leaving the bathroom, make sure all curling irons, hair dryers or flat irons are unplugged. These can stay hot long after you have stopped using them or turned them off, so make sure that they are out of reach of children.
  • Check playground equipment and pavement before letting children play: If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for them.

In addition, it's important to regularly check your smoke detectors and develop and practice an escape plan for your family.

"Painful burns can be prevented simply by applying a little knowledge and attention," said Dr. Van Vliet.