Is your home burn-safe? Take these simple steps - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Is your home burn-safe? Take these simple steps

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Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 12:00 am

More than 2 million people suffer from serious burn injuries each year in the United States, and more than 8,000 people die each year from burn-related injuries.

Burns are the second-leading cause of death to children under the age of 4.

Most burn injuries could have been prevented. Northwest Fire is using the occasion of National Burn Awareness Week 2006, Feb. 7-13, to check on the burn injury safety of your home.

"Children and seniors are more susceptible to severe burns at lower temperatures and in less time than adults because their skin is thinner and more delicate," a release said.

Eighty percent of all burns to children under 8 years are scald burns caused by hot liquids. One second of exposure to a hot liquid can cause a life-threatening injury to a child. Hot tap water accounts for nearly one-fourth of all scald burns among children, and is associated with more deaths and hospitalizations than any other hot liquid burns.

For additional safety information, call Northwest Fire / Rescue Life Safety Services Office at 887-1010.

To help prevent scald burns

• Never leave a young child unattended in the bathroom or tub.

• Lower your water heaters to 120 degrees.

• Before placing a child into the bath, test the temperature of the water by moving your hand rapidly through the water for several seconds. If the water feels hot, add cold water until the temperature feels comfortable. The temperature should not exceed 100F.

• Create a "safe zone" around the stove and oven and hot grills, with about a five-foot perimeter. Children must stay outside of this zone. Check their location before moving any hot liquids.

• Keep pot handles turned inward. Cook on rear burners when possible.

• Test all heated liquid and food before giving it to a child or placing it within their reach.

• Remove tablecloths when toddlers are present in the home. Also keep hot liquids, food and appliances away from the edges of tables

• Never hold a child while drinking a hot liquid.

• When using a microwave, follow food packaging and manufacturer's instructions.

•  Keep arms, hands and faces away from steam from boiling liquids or microwaved foods.

• Puncture plastic wrap before heating foods in the microwave.

• Stir foods to distribute the heat.

If, in spite of precautions, someone does gets burned

• Immediately cool the burn with cool water and continue for several minutes. Do not use ice or ice water. These could cause additional damage to the skin.

• Cover with a soft, clean bandage, cloth or bedsheet.

• Do not try to clean the burned area if it covers more than a few inches of skin.

• Do not remove clothing stuck to a burn.

• See a doctor right away if a burn chars or looks white.

• If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop and roll to put out the flames.

• If someone else's clothing or hair is on fire, you can smother the flame with a blanket, coat or rug.

• Teach children what to do if they get burned.



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