The holidays are a time that many people look forward to all year long. During this time, however, hospital and emergency room visits increase due to burn injuries. Statistics from the US Consumer Products Safety Commission estimate that about 36,729 people went to the ER on Thanksgiving in 2016. In addition, about 70 percent of those seeking medical attention for burn injuries each year sustain their injuries at home.
From cooking family meals to lighting candles and having fires, the typical holiday festivities should be done with extra caution.
Causes of Burn Injuries
During the holiday season, burns can be caused by a number of things and can range in severity from first or second to third-degree burns:
- Fire burns. With open flames in the kitchen to candles and yule logs, the potential for burns from flames is high during this season.
- Liquid burns. These are caused when extremely hot liquids come into contact with the skin, such as boiling oil or water or even a hot beverage.
- Heat burns. These can be caused by touching an object that is incredibly hot, such as a hot pot or pan or a space heater.
- Electrical burns. These burns are caused when touching an overloaded or wet electrical outlet or object.
Ways to Prevent Burns
While burn injuries can occur at any time of the year, the holidays become a prominent time of occurrence due to holiday cooking and light decorations. There are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of burn injuries and home fires:
Don’t Leave Cooking Equipment Unattended.
The number one cause of house fires during the holidays is leaving cooking equipment unattended. Fires can happen in a second, and so can resulting burns. If you have an open flame, always stay where you can see it so you can turn it off if needed.
Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets.
Nothing brightens the holiday season more than string lights, but make sure not to overload outlets or extension cords. Sparks from these can cause fires and increase the change of a burn injury.
Change Batteries in Your Smoke Detectors.
During the holidays, always double-check that your smoke detectors properly work and change the batteries if needed. These devices can alert you that something is burning so that you can take action to prevent a fire from starting.
Have Emergency Equipment Nearby.
Have a fire extinguisher ready in case a fire does start. In case a burn injury does occur, always keep a first-aid kit nearby so that you can immediately treat surface-level burns. Depending on the severity of the burn, you may need to seek medical attention in order to prevent possible infections and scarring.
We hope these tips provide you with effective ways to ensure your holiday season stays injury-free. If you or a loved one suffers a burn injury during the holidays, make sure to treat the injured area immediately. In addition, if the burn was caused by the negligence of another individual, our firm is here to help you pursue your financial recovery.
Contact Panio Law Offices at (708) 928-8680 to schedule your free case review.