Burn Prevention

More than two million people suffer serious burns each year in the United States. Nationally, 8,000 people die each year from burn injuries. Burns are the second leading cause of death to children under the age of four! Scald burns constitute approximately 80 percent of all burns to children under the age of eight. One second of exposure to a hot liquid can cause a life threatening injury to a child.

Burn prevention tips:

  • When carrying or holding children, never carry hot foods or liquids at the same time.
  • When cooking, keep pot handles turned inward, and use the back burners whenever possible.
  • Check the temperature on your hot water heater, the recommended setting 120 degrees. What seems hot to an adult can be scalding to a child. Check the temperature of the bath water before placing your child in the tub. The recommended temperature is 100 degrees for bath water.
  • Keep appliance cords out of a child's reach.
  • Be sure children are old enough to understand the safe use of the microwave oven before allowing them to heat foods.

Whatcom Medic One responded to 24 burn injuries in 1996, 15 of which were serious burns involving children. For more information about burn prevention, contact the Bellingham Fire Department Life Safety Division at (360) 676-6832.

The first week of February is National Burn Injury Awareness Week, sponsored by the Burn Awareness Coalition.

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