According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 100,000 children age 14 and younger received treatment in a hospital for burn injuries in 2010 and more than 300 kids died as a result of burn accidents. By recognizing risks for burns and following safety guidelines, many Atlanta parents can save their children from these painful and devastating accidents.
Mehmet Haberal, President of the International Society for Burn Injuries, explains, “Thermal burns are a common cause of accidental death in children worldwide. Despite various methods of prevention and care, such injuries are on the rise. Only through a deeper understanding of the underlying causes can we develop truly viable alternative solutions.”
Risk Factors for Child Burn Injuries
Below are some factors that might increase the risk of burn injuries in children.
- Lack of safety measures while cooking (pot handle sticking out so children can reach, leaving children unattended)
- Not testing water temperature before placing a child in a bath
- Failure to block electrical outlets
- Leaving matches or lighters unsecured
- Allowing children to play with fireworks
- Smoking around children or leaving burning cigarettes within reach
- Failure to safely store chemicals out of children’s reach
How to Prevent Child Burns
The following burn prevention tips from the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) can help parents and individuals prevent childhood burn accidents.
- Make sure you have enough smoke alarms in your home. The National Fire Protection Association recommends one in each bedroom, one outside each sleeping area, and one on every level of your home.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
- Ensure your entire family knows the fire escape plan.
- Never leave food unattended on the stove and don’t leave young children around a hot stove or food.
- Ensure your stove is safe and in good repair.
- Set your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees or lower.
- If your child will be around a campfire or other flame, educate him or her on the dangers and discourage wearing loose clothing around the fire.
- Use fire-retardant sleepwear for young children.
- Avoid smoking in bed.
- Don’t leave matches or lighters lying around and use child-resistant lighters.
The WHO explains that there are several things that do not seem to work in childhood burn prevention: “There is insufficient evidence to promote the use of community-based campaigns and interventions such as the distribution of smoke alarms (without accompanying laws), installing residential sprinklers and other home modifications, and home visitation programmes for at-risk families.”
However, the WHO provides that there are four community approaches that have proven effective.
- Create laws that require the installation of working smoke alarms on all levels of homes
- Develop and improve child-resistant lighters
- Create laws that regulate the temperature of hot water from household taps
- Establish dedicated burn centers for improved treatments and outcomes
Additional Resources for Burn Injury Prevention
The CDC provides lots of additional information in burn injury prevention. Find a list of resources and links by visiting the CDC website and navigating to Injury Center > Safe Child Home > Burns.
If your child was burned in an accident, speak to an attorney about your legal options, you may have grounds to file a claim if one of the following instances applies to you.
- The accident occurred while your child was in someone else’s care
- The accident occurred on another party’s property
- The accident occurred as a result of a defective product or equiment
To set up a consultation with a lawyer in Atlanta or the surrounding areas, call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. We can review the details about your child’s accident and explain what options you may have available. Contact us today at 404-474-0804 for a free, no-obligation consultation.