Pasadena firefighters joined colleagues and safety advocates at Shriners for Children Medical Center-Pasadena on Tuesday to raise the alarm about potential burn dangers in the home or workplace.
The event was hosted by the Children’s Burn Foundation to coincide with the kickoff of national Burn Awareness Week, CBF Executive Director Sharon Townsend said.
The annual observation, which falls on the first full week of February, “is a window of opportunity for burn care organizations, burn survivor support groups, public safety and injury prevention professionals to increase awareness among the general population of the frequency and causes of burn injury in America, and the advances in and sources of burn care available today,” she said.
This year’s campaign theme has been themed, “Electrical Safety from Amps to Zap.”
In addition to Townsend, speakers at the event included other CBF officials, medical center pediatric plastic surgeon Dr. Andre Panossian, who performs surgeries to help heal young burn victims, and fire chiefs from both Los Angeles and Glendale.
More than 300 children are treated at emergency rooms nationwide for burn-related injuries each day, with a daily average of two of those victims dying, Townsend said.
More than 400,000 burn injuries are reported each year, in all, she said, adding that most are preventable.
The vast majority of burn injuries take place at home, but about 10% occur in the workplace, Townsend said.
“Younger children are more likely to sustain injuries from scald burns that are caused by hot liquids or steam, while older children are more likely to sustain injuries from flame burns that are caused by direct contact with fire,” she said.
Burn injuries from cooking are often associated with heated liquids, Townsend said.
In addition to thermal burns, electricity, cold, friction, radiation and chemicals can also result in burn injuries.
Townsend advised preparedness steps including testing smoke alarms monthly, having a family escape plan in case of fire, never leaving food or children unattended while cooking, and lowering water heater temperatures to 120 degrees or lower to prevent accidental scaldings.
More information on the Children’s Burn Foundation, which is based in Sherman Oaks, can be found on the organization’s website at childburn.org.
The Shriners for Children Medical Center-Pasadena is at 909 S. Fair Oaks Ave. in Pasadena.