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Patient Education: Diseases Conditions Treatments & Procedures

Injury Prevention

Burns

Sources: Toronto Fire Services and www.burntalk.com

Burns can happen to any one at any time. The consequences of burns can include severe, life-changing injuries, loss of the use of limbs and other parts of the body, permanent disfigurement, and fatalities.

Protect yourself and your family from the devastating consequences. Help stay safe with the following tips:

Prevent scald burns

  • Place pot handles towards the back of the stove and out of reach of children and passers-by.
  • Keep containers with hot liquids (kettles, cups, pots) away from the edges of tables and counters, and out of reach of children and passers-by.
  • Thousands of adults are burned by hot running water every year. Make sure your home water heater is set at less than 48 ° C. Always test water in your shower before entering.
  • Start with cold water into the bath, and gradually add hot water as needed.
  • Do not leave children unattended in bathrooms, kitchens, or other hot-water areas.

Prevent electrical burns

  • Unplug appliances when they are not in use.
  • Do not leave cords hanging — they can represent hazards for trips and falls, as well as electric shocks.
  • Check cords regularly for any damage. Do not use electrical items with damaged cords.
  • Stay away from high-tension wires and transformer stations, and never touch a hanging electrical wire on the street.

Prevent fire burns

  • Treat matches and lighters as hazardous tools — store them safely, use only when necessary, exercise caution, and give the open flame your undivided attention.
  • Be prepared — have an emergency escape plan in case of fire. Know where your exits are at home, school and at work. Practice your escape with your family.
  • Install smoke alarms and check the batteries at least twice per year.
  • Avoid loose-fitting or low-hanging clothing when cooking, near a heater or other heat source, or near an open flame.
  • If you have a disability, talk to your family, neighbours and building staff about your needs during a fire or other emergency.
  • Know how to access emergency services such as fire department, police and ambulance in your area.