Burn Prevention Week

By: Keith Jones Email
By: Keith Jones Email

This week kicks off National Burn Awareness Week, and nearly 300,000 young children are taken to the emergency room with burn injuries every day.

Burns are also one of the leading causes of accidental death in the home for children ages four and under. Fire officials say practicing fire safety around the house can greatly lower these stats.

"Knocking pots off, knocking pans off, and spilling liquids on themselves, sometimes even turning the wrong burner on," says Firefighter-EMT Darren Hemp in Staunton.

He says many burns that occur in the home happen in the kitchen and on the stove, specifically when dealing with hot liquids like coffee and boiling water.

"If you use matches and lighters to light candles, keep them away from children. Be sure your children know and can do: stop, drop, and roll. And just keep an eye on them," says Hemp.

He also advices you wear tight fitting clothes around the stove and remove anything else that may catch fire.

"As you can see we already have a pot on the back of [the stove]. We prefer to use the back burners, but if you have to use front ones, turn the handles inwards so if somebody comes by they can't knock it off, and a big thing is oven mitts," says Hemp. "It's so simple, but people forget about it a lot of times, but it's a big thing that will prevent a lot of burns."

If whatever you're cooking catches on fire, Hemp says the best thing to do is cover it up, don't throw anything on it, and do not bring it outside. Burns frequently are caused by hot water. There are some simple tips for what to do if you should get burned by anything.

"The first step is to cool the burn. Put cold water on it. It's an old wives' tale to put Vaseline on it or anything else, but that retains the heat, keeps the heat in it," says Hemp. "We want to draw the heat out as soon as possible, and if it's a severe burn, call 911, and they'll get a rescue squad on the way."

Hemp says if you find your faucet gets too hot, simply turn down the thermostat on your hot water heater. Fifty thousand Americans are hospitalized for burns every year.

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