This is National Burn Awareness Week, and West Michigan fire safety organization ESCAPE is reminding folks that prevention is the best way to avoid burns, and that children are very often the ones who are burned.

Citing guidelines from the American Burn Association, United States Fire Administration and National Fire Protection Association, ESCAPE offers these stats and solutions:

Facts about burn related injuries:

  • The primary causes of burn injuries include fire-flame, scalds, electrical and chemicals.
  • Hot water scalds are the leading cause of burns to young children.
  • Men are more likely to be burned than women (68% males and 32% females were seen at a burn unit).
  • Most of the injuries occur in the home (73%) followed by work (8%).
  • Tragically, children, the elderly, and the disabled are especially vulnerable to burn injuries, and almost one-third of all burn injuries occur in children under the age of 15.
  • Young adults ages 20-29 have a probability of a burn injury that is roughly 1.5 times the risk of the general population.

Prevent burns and scalds in the kitchen:

  • Place objects so that they cannot be pulled down or knocked over.
  • Turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge.
  • Use dry oven mitts or potholders. Hot cookware can heat moisture in a potholder or hot pad, resulting in a scald burn.
  • Remove food that has been cooked in the microwave carefully. Open containers slowly and away from the face.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove.
  • Never hold a child while you are cooking, drinking a hot liquid, or carrying hot foods or liquids.

General first aid for burns and scalds:

  • Treat a burn right away by putting it under cool, running water. Cool the burn for fifteen to twenty minutes.
  • Cover a burn with a clean, dry cloth. Do not apply creams, ointments, sprays or other  home remedies.
  • Remove all clothing, diapers, jewelry and metal from the burned area.  These can hide underlying burns and retain heat, which can increase skin damage.
  • Seek immediate emergency medical care for more serious burns to prevent infection, other complications and death.

Hear more from Michael McLeieer at ESCAPE by clicking the player below.

Hear The Richard Piet Show weekday mornings from 5:30-9 on 95.3 WBCK.