TAUNTON — Chief Timothy J. Bradshaw would like to remind Taunton residents of some safety tips and precautions as Sunday, Feb. 2 begins National Burn Awareness Week.
Each year, the American Burn Association develops educational resources for National Burn Week, which can be found on their website. The theme for Burn Awareness Week 2020 is: Contact Burns – Hot Surfaces Damage Skin.
“Using caution around fires and hot liquids is important for people of all ages,” Chief Bradshaw said. “We encourage residents of all ages to review the following safety tips ahead of National Burn Awareness week.”
According to the Massachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System (MBIRS), there were 345 burn injuries in 2018. In addition, MBIRS reports that children under the age of five account for one-quarter of all reported burn injuries. Touching heating and cooking equipment, other hot household items (like clothes irons) and walking barefoot on hot pavement are the leading causes of contact burns to young children. Older adults are also at an increased risk of suffering contact burn injuries.
Chief Bradshaw would like to offer the following tips and information from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services and the American Burn Association:
Hot drink safety
- Hot fluids were the cause of 88% of the total burns in children under the age of five. Keep hot liquids away from babies and small children. Put drinks and soups in the center of the table away from curious fingers.
- Replace tablecloths with place mats to prevent children from pulling everything on a table onto themselves.
Tap water safety
- Set your hot water heater to 125˚F or less. Massachusetts law requires a temperature between 110˚F and 130˚F. It takes only one second for water at 155˚F to cause a third-degree burn.
- Supervise young children in the bath and face them away from faucets. Babies and toddlers can turn on hot water when you turn your back.
- Children under the age of five are five times more likely to be burned by cooking than others. Keep children away from stoves, grills, campfires and fireplaces. This protects them from cooking liquids, grease and hot metal.
- Use the back burners of the stove top to prevent children from reaching up and touching hot pots and pans. Turn pot and pan handles toward the back of the stove so they cannot be easily reached or tipped.
- Have hot pads available when cooking. Long oven mitts are best when needing to reach in or over hot surfaces, such as in an oven or over a grill. Assume all pots and pans are hot.
- Don’t wear loose clothing near fire, grills or stoves.
- Glass front fireplaces have surface temperatures of 172˚F and can cause serious contact burns. Burns can occur instantly upon contact with the glass front and the most frequent site of injury is the hand. Glass fireplace doors also can remain hot for one or more hours after use.
- Be sure to turn off unattended hot appliances such as irons or hair straighteners.
- Turn heating pads and blankets off before going to sleep.
- Protect your feet by wearing shoes when walking on hot pavement or sand. Keep pets off hot pavement.
First Aid for Burns
- Stop, drop and roll if you or your clothing are on fire.
- Remove burn victims from the immediate area of danger.
- Call 911 immediately if someone has suffered a burn injury.
- Cool the burn area by running cool water over it. Continuously flush burns caused by chemicals.
- Never put grease, butter or ointment on a burn.
- Do not remove clothing from a burn.
- Cover a burn with a clean sheet or towel.