By Pendergast Law on May 31, 2016
From baths to coffee cups to electrical outlets, there are numerous ways a child can get burned in their own home. Perhaps that’s why each year, approximately 250,000 children under the age of 17 seek medical attention for burns; and of those, 15,000 require hospitalization. Frightening statistics indeed, but the good news is that in the last 30 years, due to prevention tactics, the numbers have gone down. In order to prevent burns from occurring however, you need to know what the common causes are. When it comes to burn injuries to children, there are five.
- Scalds. This is the most common cause of burn injuries to children and they can include anything from placing their hand over a steaming pot or kettle, tipping over coffee cups (or even worse, grabbing pots off the stove), or handling and eating hot foods. Even a bath that is too hot can cause scalding.
- Direct contact with flame or hot objects. There are a number of really hot items in the home including curling irons, fireplaces, and stoves, to name just a few. If a child comes into direct contact with any of these things, they’re likely going to have a pretty bad burn to show for it.
- Chemical burns. These are not always the first burns we think of when considering the common ways kids can burn themselves, but they are some of the most serious. Even a small spill of bleach can cause a pretty serious burn on the sensitive skin of a child. While keeping these chemicals locked up or on a higher shelf can be a good preventative measure, it’s important to remember that there are chemicals all around the house, such as in the watch batteries that are lying out and might look like a tasty snack for young kids.
- Electrical burns. These are definitely not as common as people becoming increasingly aware of the importance of child-proofing a home, which includes placing pieces of plastic into electrical outlets, preventing children from poking their fingers or other objects into them. However, children (especially very small children) may still find the urge to chew or bite on electrical cords, which can cause a severe electrical burn.
- Sunburns. Of course, most kids will experience the unpleasantness of getting at least one sunburn in their lives, and it’s usually not a real cause of concern. But sunburns can be severe, causing children to blister, have a fever, or experience nausea, vomiting and headaches, and this is when they require medical attention.
Burn and scalding injuries to children can cause serious damage and have long-lasting effects. While some minor burns can safely be treated at home, in most cases it’s best to seek medical attention immediately after a burn injury has occurred in order to reduce the damage to the skin and body. Prevention is also of utmost importance, and is one of the best ways parents and caregivers can ensure that the children under their watch never suffer from a serious burn injury.
If your child has been burned and someone is at fault for that injury, contact a Seattle burn accident lawyer at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. We’ll fight for your family, be there for you during the entire process, and help get you the compensation you deserve. You can reach us at 888-539-9211.