People rarely think about severe burn injuries. It’s often assumed house fires are the only real cause of burns; however, there are many risks that can lead to burn injuries.
Burn injuries are one of the main causes of wounds and death in the U.S., which is why February 4-10, 2021 was named National Burn Awareness Week by the American Burn Association.
Why Is Burn Awareness Week Important?
National Burn Awareness Week was established to help spread awareness of how serious burn-related injuries and deaths are, what can cause them, and how people can prevent them. The following are a few statistics showcasing how important it is to observe National Burn Awareness Week:
- Emergency departments reported there were almost 500,000 fire or burn injuries between 2011-2015.
- The majority of burn-related injuries are caused by scalds, electrical burns, chemical burns, fire-flames, or contact with hot objects.
- The odds of dying as a result of a fire (whether it’s from the fire itself or from smoke) are only 1 in 1,498.
- There were 3,390 deaths related to fires in 2016.
How To Prevent Burn-Related Injuries
Many burn-related injuries occur due to the lack of fire safety, especially in households with children. Here are a few safety tips to prevent burn injuries and deaths:
- Keep the space around your furnace clear. Make sure there are no flammable objects nearby.
- Lighters and matches should be kept out of reach of children. Children should be taught to inform an adult if they find lighters or matches.
- Never leave open flames unattended, whether it’s a gas stovetop, a fireplace, or a lit candle, especially if there are children around.
- Place your outdoor grill away from the house and flammable objects.
- Store gasoline and propane outside of the house in a cool, well-ventilated spot.