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National Burn Awareness Week

Burn and scald injuries are the focus of National Burn Awareness week that starts on Feb. 1, 2015. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the campaign to raise awareness and promote prevention. Arkansas residents may be interested in the information provided by the American Burn Association's National Scald Prevention Campaign, including statistics and prevention recommendations.

Children and older adults have the highest risk of scalding injuries. The factors that create the higher risk for these age groups are physical, mental and environmental. Children and older adults have thinner skin, which allows more severe burning at lower temperatures and more quickly. Older adults may have slower reaction times or impaired mobility that could put them in greater danger of burns, while young children have motor and cognitive skills that have not fully developed, and they rely on adults to help them avoid physical dangers.

Most scald burns are related to cooking, hot foods and hot drinks. Even liquid that is below boiling temperature can cause a severe burn. Most scald burns happen at home. The rate of scald burns is on the rise, with a continual increase shown between 2007 and 2013.

The National Scald Prevention Campaign recommends setting household water heaters to the medium setting or around 120 degrees. Testing the temperatures of bath water, food and drinks before serving is also recommend, as well as positioning hot drinks away from table edges or anywhere that they are at risk of falling or being handled by unsupervised children.

Burn injuries can cause pain and result in the need for intensive medical treatment. In addition to the medical costs, victims may suffer permanent scarring and emotional distress. In a situation where the burn is caused by the negligence of another party, a personal injury attorney can often be of assistance in pursuing appropriate compensation.

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