Englewood, CO, February 02, 2019 --(PR.com
)-- Every 65 seconds, someone in the United States sustains a burn injury serious enough to need treatment. Children under the age of 16 account for 26 percent of all admissions to burn centers. Most of those injuries are scalds, and most of them are preventable.
Swedish Medical Center, a level I trauma and burn center, is marking Burn Awareness Week February 3 through February 9. This year, the focus is on keeping children safe from hot foods and liquids.
“Something hot can easily be within reach of a child before you realize it. So those caring for children should be vigilant in the kitchen and bathroom,” said Benson Pulikkottil, Medical Director of Burn & Reconstructive Centers of Colorado at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood. “We ask that everyone practice an extra measure of caution to keep safe from scald injuries.”
The skin of infants and toddlers is thinner than that of adults, and exposure to hot water while cooking or bathing can lead to deeper burn injuries at lower temperatures or shorter exposure times, according to Dr. Pulikkottil. Children are naturally curious about what is going on in the kitchen, so preparation is paramount in avoiding scalds.
“Having the children stay well away from the kitchen is best,” Dr. Pulikkottil said. “But if that’s not realistic, at least keep a three-foot buffer around heated surfaces, and make sure someone is always watching children who are in the kitchen.”
Below is a list of tips on preventing scalds:
· While cooking, establish safe play areas out of the traffic path between the stove and the sink, where children can be supervised.
· Steam from microwave popcorn bags is hotter than 180°F and can burn skin in less than a second. Allow the bag to sit for at least a minute before opening it away from your face.
· Children grow fast and can reach new dangerous things every day. Supervision is the single most important factor in preventing burns.
· It only takes two seconds of exposure to 148°F water to cause a burn serious enough to require surgery. Coffee is often served at 175°F, making it high-risk for causing immediate, severe scald burns.
· When microwaving food, steam inside covered containers can quickly reach over 200°F. Puncture plastic wrap or use vented containers to allow steam to escape while cooking. Wait at least one minute before removing the cover by lifting the corner farthest from you, away from your face and hands.
· Microwave ovens are thought to be safer than conventional ovens, but microwaves heat foods and liquids to very high temperatures and can cause burns from spills, steam, and splashes.
· Hot water pressure may fluctuate due to running water in other parts of the home. Avoid flushing toilets, running water, or using the dishwasher or washing machine while someone is showering to prevent sudden surges of scalding water.
Burn Awareness Week is an annual opportunity to highlight the cause of such devastating and costly injuries, and to encourage the public to make simple environmental and behavioral changes that have proven to mitigate these issues.
For more information on burn care and burn prevention, please visit www.burncenters.com. Swedish Medical Center is proud to be the only level I trauma center in the south metro Denver area with a dedicated burn unit learn more at swedishhospital.com/service/burn-center.
Swedish Medical Center, part of HCA Healthcare’s HealthONE, is located in the south metro Denver area where it has been a proud member of the community for more than 110 years. An acute care hospital with 408 licensed beds, annually Swedish cares for more than 200,000 patients with a team of approximately 2,000 dedicated employees, 300 volunteers and 1,400 physicians.
With stroke door to treatment times averaging just 20 minutes, Swedish serves as the Rocky Mountain Region’s referral center for the most advanced stroke treatment, and was the state’s first Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke Center. Swedish also serves as the region’s neurotrauma and orthopedic trauma provider and is the south Denver metro area’s only level I trauma facility with a dedicated burn and reconstructive center. Over 150 facilities regularly transfer highly complex cases to Swedish.
Swedish Medical Center offers patients the highest quality care and the most advanced technologies and treatments in nearly every medical specialty including adult and pediatric emergency, heart care, neurology/neurosurgery, pregnancy and childbirth, orthopedics and joint replacement, cancer care, gastroenterology and liver care, gynecology and urology. Additional information about the hospital is available at www.SwedishHospital.com.