Don’t Get Burned, Learn about Burn Risks that Lurk in Your HomeBy Home Security Source Feb 12, 2010 | 11:30:00 amPosted in: Child Safety, DIY Safety, Family, Home, Senior Safety
Anyone can be a burn victim in a matter of seconds, and burn risks are real no matter how old you are, but seniors and children face the greatest burn risks. It’s important to know where your family members are most vulnerable in and around your home.
According to the Burn Foundation, children under the age of five are one of the groups most vulnerable to burns. In fact, each year in the United States more than 10,000 babies are burned seriously enough to require hospitalization.
To help prevent childhood burns:
- Keep lighters and matches secured and out of sight at all times.
- Make sure appliance cords are retracted and out of reach. Cords can often hang right at or near a child’s reach and from a child’s eye-level it can be impossible to see if something like a hot iron lies at the other end of a long cord.
- Test water before letting children touch it to avoid scalding. Remember, if the water feels hot to you, it’s definitely too hot for children.
- Never leave children alone in the bathroom, or any place where an open flame is present.
Seniors also face a very high risk of burns in the home. Thinner skin makes older adults vulnerable to serious injury from a scald. Their physical reaction time may also be slowed, making it more difficult to react quickly to possible burn situations.
To reduce senior burn risks:
- Make sure home water heaters are set at or below 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make sure seniors keep pot handles turned toward the rear of the stove while cooking to avoid spilling hot food. Long sleeves should also not be worn when cooking, they can easily catch fire.
- Make sure to maintain at least three feet of space around space heaters when in use.
Adults face their own set of unique burn risks and should remember to:
- Use extra caution when operating deep fat oil cookers or fryers.
- Store flammable chemicals such as gasoline in a well-ventilated area, away from any source of ignition and use extra caution when handling flammable liquids or vapors.
What to do if you are burned:
Minor (1st degree) burns: Cool the affected area by running it under cool water. Overly cold or hot water can make the burn worse. Gently dry the burned area. Do not use butter, ice or other lotions on the burn.
The Shriners Hospital for Children recommends immediately calling your doctor or a health care provider if a child has a burn to the face or hands, there is swelling associated with the burn, or the burn goes entirely around a part of the body. In these cases, do not begin any treatments without consulting a medical professional first.
In order to prevent any major fire at home, be sure to install smoke detectors. Home heat detectors are also useful and can certainly help you protect your children, parents and even yourself from serious burn injuries.
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