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Scald Injuries Typically Rise in Winter

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It's Burn Awareness Week, an awareness campaign by the American Burn Association, and the focus this year is on scald injuries.  The Indiana State Department of Health says scald injuries typically increase in the winter months as people try to warm up with a hot shower or hot beverage. Scald injuries, they say, can occur when hot liquids or steam causes damage to one or more layers of the skin due to contact.
Additional information from the Indiana State Department of Health:
Scalds are most likely to occur in the kitchen and the bathroom from things like hot tap water, beverages and food and steam. 
In 2012, scald burns were reported as the cause for 2,173 emergency department visits and 139 hospital admissions statewide.
Scalds are the second leading cause of all burn injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Although scald burns can happen to anyone, young children, older adults and people with disabilities are the most likely to experience such injuries. In fact, 60 percent of all scald injuries occur in young children, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Scalds can be prevented by taking a few precautionary steps:
·         Set home water heater thermostats to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Test the water using a meat or water thermometer after letting the water run for three to five minutes and adjust the water temperature accordingly.
·         Avoid flushing toilets, running water or using dishwashers and washing machines while someone is showering.
·         Install anti-scald or tempering devices to prevent water that’s too hot from coming out of the tap. Always check bathwater temperatures by moving your hand, wrist and forearm through the water, especially before putting a child in the water. The water should feel warm, not hot.
·         Never carry or hold a child while cooking, drinking a hot liquid or carrying hot foods or liquids to prevent spilling or splashing liquids on the child. 
·         Allow microwaveable food to cool prior to eating and open packaging slowly and away from the face.
To visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website, go to www.StateHealth.in.gov .For important health updates, follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh


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