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Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on February 2nd, 2012,
by Zane Cagle

Burn Awareness Week, Feb 5-11–Promote Safety in St. Louis, Missouri

Posted on February 2nd, 2012 by Zane Cagle

While we have previously blogged about burn injuries, they still tend to be thought of as some of the most dangerous and painful of all injuries.  The burn awareness week is aimed at increasing awareness of burn injuries and how to avoid burn injuries.  Educators, fire personnel and emergency personnel will use the week to heighten safety awareness with children and the public in general. We would like to help promote safety awareness regarding burns.

While scald burns can happen to anyone, the American Burn Association state that children, older adults and people with disabilities are the most likely to incur such injuries.  Most scalding occur in the home during food preparation or from exposure to hot tap water in bathtubs or showers.  Scalds also occur in the workplace, typically due to such factors as steam pipes malfunctioning.

In 2003, an estimated 83,300 children ages 14 and under were treated in hospitals emergency rooms for burn-related injuries, 15,000 children were hospitalized with burn injuries and 1,100 children die each year from fire and burns.

Scald burns – approximately 21,000 children were treated for scald burns. Among children ages 4 and under hospitalized for burn-related injuries, an estimated 65% were treated for scald burns.  The total annual cost of scald burn-related deaths and injuries among children ages 14 and under is $44 million.  Children in that age bracket account for more than 90 % of these costs.  Therefore, burn safety information for children and care givers is essential.

The severity of the scald depends on the temperature to which the skin is exposed and how long it is exposed.

High risk groups:

Young children-they have thinner skin resulting in deeper burns than adults for comparible temperature and time.  Also the proportion of the child’s body that is exposed to any given scalding agent is greater.  As well, small children usually have little control over their environment, less perception of danger and less ability to escape a burning situation on their own.  As children grow fast, they do not always understand that hot liquids can burn like fire.

Older adults– like young children, they have thinner skin so that hot liquids can cause deeper burns with even brief exposure.  As well, their ability to feel heat may have decreased due to various medical conditions.  Because they have poor microcirculation, heat is removed from burned tissue rather slowly compared to younger adults.  Also, older adults may have conditions making them more prone to falls in the bath or shower or while carrying hot liquids.

People With Disabilities or Special Needs-these individuals may have a higher risk if they rely on a caregiver because as a child they are not in full control of their environment or may not be able to physically or mentally manipulate their environments.  Mobility impairments, slow or awkward movements, muscle weakness or fatigue, or slower reflexes increase the risk of spills while moving hot liquids.  Moving hot liquids can be extremely dangerous to a person in a wheel chair or using a cane or walker.  Changes in a person’s mental capacity or intellect, perception, memory, judgment or awareness may hinder the person’s ability to recognize a dangerous situation.

This following week, we will blog about types of burns and scalds and we will give safety tips and information.

If you or a loved one has been burned or injured due to the negligence of another, contact St Louis personal injury lawyer Zane T. Cagle of The Cagle Law Firm today for a free consultation 1(314) 276-1681—consultations are always free.