Fourth of July brought with it flags, parades, family and fun. It also brought barbeques and fireworks. Over 9,000 people each year are burned by fireworks, a third of which are children. Most are burned on the face and upper limbs, but occasionally small children step on lit fireworks or the fire spreads down a person’s clothes. Barbequing brings its own set of dangers. Too much fuel or malfunctioning equipment can cause similar burn patterns as fireworks and burns on the feet can come from spilling coals from traditional charcoal grills. The National Health Service and the New York Department of Health have tips to avoid and treat burns this summer:
- Do not let children use fireworks and keep them at least six feet away
- If the fireworks do not ignite or explode, do not go investigate
- Even sparklers reach over 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit
- Add fuel to the barbeque and ignite as soon as possible to avoid pooling of the fuel
- Do not add more fuel to a burning grill
- Do not leave a grill unattended
- When disposing of coals, allow them to cool first
- If someone is burned or injured, call 911 immediately and follow these treatment strategies
- Stop the burning process immediately – cover flames with blanket, douse with water, etc.
- Remove any clothing or jewelry that is not stuck to the skin
- Cool the burn with lukewarm water for 20 minutes
- Keep the affected person warm but do not cover the actual burns
- Cover the burn with cling film
- Treat the pain with ibuprofen
- Avoid making the affected body part dependent. Elevation reduces swelling.
Although less common this time of year, burns to the feet and legs can be just as devastating. Timely prevention of burns, treatment, and help from medical professionals can make the difference this summer. Enjoy your friends and family, salute your country, and stay safe!
Please visit our website for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus, Gahanna or Dublin, OH office.