National Burn Awareness Week is February 2-8

Jan. 30, 2020 – Getting burned is a traumatic physical and psychological experience and the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health believes promoting awareness about burn injuries can be beneficial at home and within a wide variety of industries such as childcare and education.

The American Burn Association (ABA) promotes National Burn Awareness Week each year during the first week of February. The event is dedicated to safety education in order to prevent dangerous burn injuries for children and adults.

According to the ABA, statistics gathered between 2013 thru 2017 state that in the U.S. each year there’s an average of 15,700 burns from hot ranges or ovens, 13,500 cookware scald wounds, 9,900 tableware scald wounds, 5,200 burn wounds from contact with a hot grill and 5,200 burns from items pulled from hot microwave ovens.

“Many of the injuries we see are suffered by children and adults from contact burns, which are caused by touching a hot object such as the burner of a stove, a skillet or a grill,” said Dr. Rajiv Sood, medical director of the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health. “When you touch an object that’s hot enough, skin cells may sustain varying degrees of damage causing instant pain. Other common injuries are caused by thermal burns caused by an open flame and scald burns.”

Everyone should avoid wearing long sleeves while cooking and always avoid the use of alcohol or other substances while using grills or lighting bonfires. Never carry grease pans outside when on fire and be sure to smother them with a lid or another pan to avoid splatter or other injuries. You should also protect your feet from hot objects by wearing shoes when walking on hot pavement or sand, and also do what you can to keep pets off of those hot surfaces.

According to the ABA, children under five face a higher risk of non-fire contact cooking burns. Although they account for just 6 percent of the population, small children are more often the victims of non-fire burn injuries from cooking equipment, tableware such as bowls and cups, and cookware such as pots and pans.

Dr. Sood suggests that to help avoid contact burns, everyone should be careful around hot objects at all times, and a child should never be held while individuals are cooking, drinking a hot beverage or carrying hot foods or liquids. Whenever cooking, make sure hot pads are available and be sure to use long oven mitts to reach into hot cooking appliances such as ovens and grills. Everyone should always assume all pots and pans are hot.

Be sure to always treat hot items coming from the microwave as you would those being taken from the oven, and limit microwave use by children. You’ll also want to always turn electric heating pads and blankets off before going to sleep.

When outside, have everyone stand at least three feet away from hot objects such as grills and fire pits, and keep the area clear of trip hazards. Also be sure to protect your feet from hot objects by wearing shoes when walking on hot pavement or sand.

Verified by the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association, the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center is regarded as one of the finest and most progressive burn centers in the United States. For more information on burn prevention, please call the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center’s burn prevention hotline at 1.866.339.BURN.


CONTACT: Tom Surber
Phone: 317.880.4793
Cell: 317.402.9327

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