Scalding is any burn that is caused by a hot liquid. It can be bath water that is too hot or soup out of the microwave that is spilled while being carried to the table. Either way, it is as catastrophic a burn injury as any other and can often be fatal.
During Burn Awareness Week, February 3 through 9, 2013, The Burn Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, the only certified burn treatment facility in New Jersey, is joining the Prevention Committee of the American Burn Association in its campaign to eradicate scald burns. Burn injuries, particularly scalds, are preventable by simply becoming aware of the problem and making some small changes in your daily routine.
While everyone is vulnerable to scald injuries, especially in the winter months, scald burns appear to be most prevalent in children under five years of age and older adults, primarily due to developmental changes. In children, curiosity and lack of coordination may lead to many accidents. For adults, it is often changes in sensory perception that lead to a scald injury.
As we get older, many of us tend to get used to doing things a certain way and may become complacent and somewhat resistant to change," says Lisa Jones, Community Burn Educator for The Burn Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. "A few simple modifications in your routine can prevent a life-altering incident."
Two areas of most concern are scalds from bath water and hot liquids. The temperature of water used for bathing is especially significant for children and older adults, whose skin is thinner and more susceptible to a deeper burn. A bath or shower that is too hot can be fatal and it can all be avoided by simply lowering your hot water temperature.
"Hot liquids, such as coffee, tea and soup pose risks as well and burn just as severely as fire," explains Ms. Jones. Hot liquids need to be treated with care, especially around children. It only takes an instant for a curious child to pull down a cup of hot coffee off a table."
The Burn Center at Saint Barnabas recommends the following tips for preventing scald burn:
In the event of a burn, it is important to immediately take the following steps:
Critically burned patients require the expert, highly sophisticated care that can only be provided by an experienced team of medical professionals at a comprehensive burn center. In New Jersey, that kind of specialized care is available exclusively at The Burn Center at Saint Barnabas. Established in 1977, it is the state's only certified burn treatment facility, with 12 intensive care beds and an 18-bed-step-down unit for less critically injured patients. The Center is one of the largest in the United States andCanada and cares for more than 400 patients annually. The Burn Center is recognized as a national leader in burn care by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons.
To arrange for educational programs, please contact The Burn Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center Outreach/Education Office at 973-322-8071.
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