Next week is Burn Awareness Week, which is a national campaign by the American Burn Association that is observed each year during the first full week in February.
Each year, Burn Awareness Week helps to educate people on how easily people can be permanently injured or even killed from burn injuries, Burns can result not just from flames and fires, but also from things like chemicals and boiling water, or steam.
Scalds are a Serious Source of Burn Injuries and Death In the United States
Scalds are the cause of most burn injuries to children (75%) and yet many people don’t realize how serious a scalding burn injury can be – or how easy it is to be scalded. At home or working on the job, anyone can be scalding and suffer serious (2nd and 3rd degree burns) injuries from scalding caused by any kind of hot liquid or steam, such as:
- Hot tap water
- Cooking liquids
- Hot coffee or tea or cocoa
- Boiling liquids
- Steam from heaters
Restaurant and food service workers are at particular danger of scalding burn injuries on the job. Those working with equipment or industrial areas where hot liquids or steam are a part of the environment are also at risk.
Scald Injury Statistics
- 4,000 deaths
- 400,000 burn injuries treated
- 30,000 hospitalized in burn centers
- 40% of all treated burns and one-third of those hospitalized are scalds
For scald burn injuries, there may be long – term medical care needs as well as therapy costs and surgeries to deal with scarring and mobility/use of the burn area. Workers’ compensation may be involved in helping burn victims here, as well as insurance coverage provided by schools, care centers, etc., as well as the possibility of claims being pursued against defective products manufacturers and suppliers for burns caused by a product failure (for example, a pressure cooker exploding in the kitchen and scalding those nearby, or a defective hot water heater that scalds the repairman).
Scalding Awareness is Part of 2014 Burn Awareness Week
Scald injuries affect all ages. Young children and the elderly are most vulnerable. This is why the American Burn Association wants to provide you with information on scald injury prevention. Annually in the United States and Canada, over 500,000 people receive medical treatment for burn injuries. Roughly half of these injuries are scalds.
Most burns occur in the home, usually in the kitchen or bathroom. Scalds can be prevented through increased awareness of scald hazards and by making simple
environmental or behavioral changes. These include providing a “kid-safe” zone while preparing and serving hot foods and beverages, and lowering the water heater thermostat to deliver water at a temperature not to exceed 120 degrees.