Each year in the United States approximately 400,000 people seek medical care for burns injuries. Most burn-related injuries are preventable.
While most burn injuries occur at home, approximately 10% take place in the workplace. And fire or open flame isn’t always the cause of the burn injury either. A large portion of cooking burns happen when a person comes in contact with a hot object or liquid instead.
Types of Burns
Thermal burns – The most common type of burn seen is caused by hot objects, fire, hot liquids, and steam. These include
Cold burns – Also known as frostbite, these burns occur when the skin is exposed to frigid temperatures for a period of time or by direct contact to something very cold.
Friction burns – Rubbing our skin against a hard object can burn it. Sports injuries often cause minor friction burns from sliding across a floor. An example of more serious friction burns include those
Electrical burns – These burn injuries occur when a person comes in contact with an electrical current. The types of damage vary depending on the voltage and length of exposure.
Radiation burns – These burns occur from sun exposure as well as X-rays or cancer treatment.
Chemical burns – When acids, solvents, detergents or other chemicals come in contact with our skin they can cause burns.
It’s important to take steps to prevent burns. For each type of burn, we can take steps to protect ourselves and others from injury.
Actions to Take
Use open flame properly and keeping children away.
Test hot liquids and keep them away from the edges of counters.
Don’t cook while holding a child.
Wear protective gear when handling chemicals.
Wear appropriate gear for sports like helmets, elbow and knee protection.
Follow work safety guidelines when using equipment.
Wear clothing appropriate for the weather and take shelter when storms approach.
Don’t use electrical appliances near water.