TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Each year in the United States, more
than 40,000 children receive thermal or contact burn injuries from touching
hot appliances or other common household objects.
More than 20,000 children under the age of 15 are burned annually
from grabbing or touching hot curling irons and clothing irons; nearly
17,000 receive thermal injuries from coming in contact with electric
ranges, ovens, grills, and heaters; more than 5,000 are injured from
contact with lit cigarettes and cigarette lighters; and more than 2,000 are
injured from contact with extension and electrical cords and outlets.
During Burn Awareness Week, February 7-13, 1999, the Shriners, members of
the fraternal organization that operates Shriners Hospitals for Children,
are asking parents and other caregivers to be aware of the dangers posed by
such common household objects and take steps to keep their children safe.
"The greatest tragedy is that these injuries are preventable," said
John C. Nobles, the Shrine's Imperial Potentate and Chairman of the Board
of Directors of Shriners Hospitals. "By following simple safety procedures
and supervising children closely, parents can prevent these types of burns,
which may require years of rehabilitation."
There are simple, effective steps parents and other caregivers can
take to protect their children from serious burn injuries. Shriners
Hospitals and the Shriners offer the following tips:
* Most curling irons reach the "one-second" contact burn
temperature (167 degrees F) in less than five minutes; this temperature causes
an instantaneous contact burn. Keep curling irons out of the reach of
children, and keep children at a safe distance while using one. Set the
curling iron on the back of the counter while heating or cooling, and use a
safety holder if possible. Use similar precautions for clothing irons.
Curious children may tug on cords that dangle from countertops or ironing
boards, causing the appliance to fall. Never allow children to play with
irons or curling irons.
* Keep children away from electric ranges, ovens, grills, and
heaters. Establish a "No Zone" in front of such appliances, and keep
children out of the kitchen and away from grills while cooking. Use
extreme caution when heating the home with heaters of any kind; use
protective shielding or screens to reduce risks; and never leave children
alone around heaters.
* Keep matches, lighters and lit cigarettes out of the reach of
children. Buy and use only child-resistant lighters. Teach children the
dangers of playing with fire.
* Extension and electrical cords are twice as likely to cause
injury as outlets because young children will put them in their mouth.
Throw away old, frayed and damaged cords. Don't allow cords to dangle from
countertops where young children may tug on them and pull a hot appliance
off. Use safety devices to cover electrical outlets.
Because Shriners Hospitals treat pediatric patients, the Shrine's
focus is on preventing burns among children. Young children face greater
risks than adults and older children, and it is up to the adults in the
home to follow safety precautions and keep young children from harm.
Known as the experts in pediatric burn care, Shriners Hospitals
operate four burn hospitals in Galveston, Cincinnati, Boston and
Sacramento. Through intensive research and state-of-the-art clinical care,
a burned child's chance of survival has more than doubled since the
Shriners first opened the Galveston hospital in 1966. Much of today's
research now focuses on improving the quality of life for burn survivors.
The 22 Shriners Hospitals provide orthopaedic and burn care totally
free of charge to children up to their 18th birthday. The hospitals were
founded by the Shrine of North America, an international fraternity with
approximately 575,000 members.
The Shriners are offering a booklet on burn prevention free of
charge. For your copy of "Burn Prevention Tips," write to the Public
Relations Department, International Shrine Headquarters, P.O. Box 31356,
Tampa, FL 33631-3356, or visit the Shrine's Web site at
SOURCE Shriners Hospitals for Children