Burn Awareness Week: How to stay safe and protect against contact burns


Courtesy: MGN

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The week of February 3rd to 7th is Burn Awareness Week experts are warning about fire and burn safety.

According to the American Burn Association, about 70,000 people went to hospital emergency rooms in 2018 with contact burn injuries. They say out of that number, one out of three of those patients were under the age of five.

The Medical Director of the University of Utah Burn Center, Dr. Giavonni Lewis said burn awareness week is important because it brings together a lot of the educators around fire safety, burn safety and life safety. She added, “it allows us to have a moment to let our communities know that we are dealing with burn injuries and they affect a large number of people.”

Dr. Lewis said contact burns specifically is the theme of this week’s burn awareness.

One hundred percent of contact burns are preventable, according to Dr. Lewis who said some of the most common contact burns involve, cooking around stoves, which includes contact with stoves or the top surfaces that are hot during the cooking process, curling irons when someone is doing their hair and leaves the curling iron on the side, where a child can come along and unintentionally touch or pull it down and have a contact injury.

“My biggest concern about these injuries is that with a contact burn they are much deeper than your usual fire burn and they do most often require surgery,” said Dr. Lewis.

Some safety tips to avoid contact burns according to Dr. Lewis include:

  • Unplug your curling iron and make sure that the cord and curling iron are in a place where no little hands can reach and pull down.
  • In the kitchen area, experts recommend three feet circle around all of the cooking appliances.
  • For microwaves, treating all the materials coming out to the microwave including bowls cups and so on as if they were coming directly out of the oven. Use gloves to help protect from heat.
  • Pushing hot pots away from the counter so that little hands don’t touch or grab and pull those things unto them and get burned.

With campfire season soon approaching, Dr. Lewis recommends that everyone has fire safety precautions in place around campfires which include making sure children have shoes on, creating three feet of space around the campfire so that there is the zone of safety to protect kids from potentially falling into the campfire.

Dr. Lewis added that after campfires are extinguished, be aware that coals are still warm even 24 hours after.


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