How to Avoid Burn Injuries (And What To Do If It Happens)

October 6, 2021 Posted In Personal Injury

Severe burn injuries can happen in many different ways other than open flames, including hot liquids, touching hot surfaces, chemicals, and others. Burns can happen anywhere but are particularly common in the home or workplace. Knowing some simple tips can help you, and your loved ones avoid a burn injury. 

Kitchen Safety  

  • Never leave anything cooking on the stove unattended. 
  • Keep the stovetop and oven clear of flammable materials and clean, as a buildup of grease and debris can ignite easily.
  • Don’t hang dish towels on the oven door.
  • Do not place or spray aerosols near an open flame.
  • Cook on back burners and turn pot handles in to prevent accidental spillage.
  • Wear close-fitting clothes and roll up sleeves. Turn stovetop flames off before reaching over the stove.
  • Keep appliances unplugged when not in use.

Child Safety

Children move quickly and are adventurous. Taking a few precautions can help prevent them from getting burned. 

  • Place coffee, tea cups, or bowls of soup out of reach.
  • Keep children (especially toddlers) away from hot objects such as irons, oven doors, BBQs, heaters, and exhaust pipes. 
  • Check the temperature of food before serving it to a child. Don’t heat a baby’s bottle in the microwave.
  • Put hot objects such as irons or hair straighteners out of reach while they are cooling. 
  • Don’t use a tablecloth, as a child may pull on the corner of it and potentially cause hot objects to fall on them.
  • Regularly check electrical plugs and cords for dirt or fraying. Put covers on electrical outlets that children can reach.
  • Teach your child what to do in case of a house fire. Practice your exit strategy and how to call 911.
  • Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
  • Check the bathtub water temperature with your elbow before placing a child or infant in a bathtub.
  • Turn down your water heater to 120°F or lower.
  • Store harmful chemicals and cleaners in an area where children cannot access them.
  • Check smoke detector batteries and clean and test your smoke detectors once a month.
  • Wear and apply sunscreen. 

Be Extra Cautious with Flammable Liquids

  • Store flammable and combustible liquids in areas that are:
    • Well ventilated to reduce vapour concentrations.
    • Free of ignition sources.
    • Cool (temperature controlled) and dry.
  • Never fill gasoline motors in an enclosed space, such as a garage.
  • Before starting a lawnmower, snow blower, or motorcycle, move it away from gasoline fumes.
  • Let small motors cool before you refuel them.
  • When using flammable liquids, eliminate any ignition sources by: 
    • Removing open flames and spark-producing equipment.
    • Not smoking around these liquids.
    • Using approved explosion-proof equipment in hazardous areas.

What To Do After a Burn Injury

If you catch on fire, stop, drop, cover your face, and roll. Smother the flames with a blanket and move away from the heat source. No matter how the burn occurred, apply cool water for at least 20 minutes or alternate between two wet cloths every fifteen seconds. Remove any clothing and jewelry that can hold heat. Sunburns and small scalds can typically be treated at them. Deep or widespread burns require immediate medical attention. 

When To See a Doctor 

Seek emergency medical assistance for:

  • Burns that cover the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks, a major joint, or a large area of the body
  • Deep burns, which means burns affecting all layers of the skin or even deeper tissues
  • Burns that cause the skin to look leathery
  • Burns that appear charred or have patches of black, brown, or white
  • Burns caused by chemicals or electricity
  • Difficulty breathing or burns to the airway

Depending on the severity, you may need treatment at a specialized burn center and possibly months-long follow-up care. If your burn injury was caused due to another person or company’s negligence, a Riverside Burn Injury Lawyer can help you pursue legal compensation to cover medical expenses, replace lost income, and more.

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