February is Burn Awareness Month

Tina | February 7, 2021 | 13 Comments

February is National Burn Awareness Month. Although it may seem like an obvious thing to be aware of and an easy injury to avoid, more than two million Americans are treated for serious burn injuries each year, and a good number of those burn victims are children. Children account for between 10 and 15 percent of fire-related deaths each year, and 52 percent of these are children under five. In addition, incidents of fire tend to spike in the winter time, so children are at higher risk during the winter months. Most burns occur in the home, and the most common type of burn for a child to sustain is a scald. Scalding accounts for 80% of the burns sustained by children under eight. It’s important to be aware that a burn injury is a real and common danger for a child, so that you can take steps to prevent it from happening. It’s also important to know how to treat a burn if one does occur.

  • Prevention  Most burns occur in one of two rooms: the kitchen and the bathroom. It’s very important to keep hot fluids away from children. Children shouldn’t play directly in front of the stove or microwave, as this puts them in real danger of having hot liquids spilled on them. Tablecloths and placemats may look pretty, but for small children, the temptation to pull on them can easily result in a hot liquid spill. It’s better not to use them. Hot water heaters should be set at 120 degrees F at the most. Thermostat-controlled faucets or valves are available in the event that you have a hot water heater that can’t be adjusted to an appropriate temperature. Babies should be bathed in water no hotter than 100 degrees, and bath water for small children should be no hotter than 104 degrees. A small child’s thinner skin puts them at greater risk of scalding than an adult. The most important method to avoid childhood burns is constant supervision by an adult.
  • Treatment If you’ve grown up hearing the old wives tale about putting butter on a burn, now is the time to forget it. Not only does it not work, experts say that it does more harm than good. You should also avoid putting ice on a burn, as the burned area is susceptible to frostbite. Instead, you should immediately run cool water over the area, or apply cool wet cloths. Minor burns (1st degree burns and 2nd degree burns smaller than a quarter) can be treated at home. A lotion heavy in aloe vera will soothe pain and promote healing. If a blister forms, do not pop it. Larger 2nd degree burns and any 3rd degree burn should be treated by a medical professional. Don’t apply any lotions or salves to a burn that you’re going to have treated by a doctor.

Obviously, you’ll want to ensure that matches and lighters are kept out of reach of children, and never leave a small child alone in the kitchen. Burn injuries are completely preventable with a combination of supervision and child-proofing.

Comments (13)

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  1. denise smith says:

    great tips my teen daughter is getting into cooking so she will be reading this also

  2. christal c willdebbie says:

    Nice info, You learn something new everyday
    I did not know there was a National burn awareness month.

  3. Nena Sinclair says:

    This is great info, thank you! I was at a meeting about fire safety last week and learned the number one place where fires start in a home is from the refrigerator! It runs 24/7, so it’s always on. Make sure to keep the back of your refrigerator clean! Vacuum the dust bunnies away!

  4. Stephanie says:

    Great tips! I always run lukewarm water over burns to help take the heat out. I don’t know if there is a difference in that and cool water?

  5. She says:

    I haven’t used butter since I was a kid, many, many moons ago. Ever since I got my first burn as an adult I used cool water or ice wrapped in a soft cloth to make it to the dr, to avoid that burning feeling. Once a cream reaches body temp, the cooling effect stops so ice or cool water for me.

  6. Katherine G says:

    These are great tips

  7. Paula V says:

    I never knew Feb was burn awareness month. I recently discovered when I burn my tongue if I really persist in holding an ice cub on it for at least ten minutes I don’t have the lasting affects. I can’t stand to burn the tip of my tongue. Burns of any kind are so painful.

  8. Jennifer Lachman says:

    We just turned our hot water heater down to save on energy costs. Double bonus is that it’s safer.

  9. Dawn Justice says:

    Thanks for sharing things. Kind of ironic though lol I burnt my arm two days ago on the oven while cooking. Be careful is all I know cause it hurts lol.

  10. Mitzi Fisher says:

    This is great tips for anyone learning to cook 🙂 Thank you so much!

  11. There’s nothing worse than a burn. I used to work in food service for an elementary school and had my fair share. Don’t miss those days! Thanks for sharing. Never heard of burn awareness month!
    ~Wendy

  12. Chrystal D says:

    I am so accident-prone when it comes to using my oven. I burn my arms on the top coils a LOT of the time!

  13. Sandy says:

    Great article and great to know that February is burn awareness month.

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