The scene was truly horrific: A woman discovered her sister lying unconscious in a bathtub overflowing with boiling water.
As our New York City personal injury lawyers understand it, the 24-year-old victim had suffered a seizure – something that had never happened before – hand hit the hot water knob on her way down, causing the water to reach boiling hot temperatures.
She reportedly suffered severe, third-degree burns over her body and face. That was in 2010, and she has spent the last several years enduring skin grafts, eye reconstruction, sloughing off infected skin through “burn showers” and recovering from severe burns in her throat and nose.
Now, during National Burn Awareness month, she wants others to know how quickly something like this can happen.
Although at the outset it may seem that this was not an incident that could have been prevented, residents actually can set their water heaters not to go above 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which likely could have mitigated the damage had it been done in this situation.
According to Safe Kids USA, the majority of burn and scald victims are actually children. More than 350 children under the age of 19 are injured each year from a burn. For children under age 5, scalding is responsible for 9 out of 10 burn injuries.
When it happens to children, it’s often more severe because kids literally have a thinner skin, so the damage is more extensive.
Unsurprisingly, the most common place for kids to be burned are in the kitchen, the dining room and the bathroom.
Children, especially those under age 5, don’t perceive danger the same way adults or even older kids do. That’s why it’s up to adults and caretakers to keep the following things in mind.
Let’s start with the bathroom:
- If you can’t control the temperature of the water that comes out of the faucet, you can install special shower heads or spouts that will actually turn the water off if it gets above a certain temperature.
- Always always always check the bath water temperature before you put your children in it.
- The recommended bath temperature for children is no hotter than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. .
- When the kids are in the tub, watch them closely and check on the water temperature frequently.
In the kitchen and around hot food:
- Keep a three-foot distance between your children and hot pans, pots, appliances or food.
- Toss the tablecloths, or any material that a child could pull down and end up spilling hot food or liquids on themselves.
- Keep pot handles turned toward the back of the stove while you cook.
- Never hold your child while you’re cooking hot food.
- Before feeding your child hot foods, stir it well and test it yourself before setting it in front of your child.
- If you are drinking hot liquids around small children, put spill-resistant lids on drinking containers.
- Watch young children closely in and around the kitchen.
If someone’s negligence causes you or your child to suffer a severe burn, you may be entitled to compensation.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations. Call 1-877-313-7673.
New York Woman Perseveres After Suffering Severe Burns in Shower Accident, Feb. 13, 2013, By Eric Holden, Yahoo News
More Blog Entries:
Elderly Injuries, Deaths, From Bed Rails Prompt Federal Inquiry, Jan. 31, 2013, New York City Injury Lawyer Blog