Doctors talk burn prevention for National Burn Awareness Week

Doctors talk burn prevention for National Burn Awareness Week

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Southern Arizona's only burn program is talking burn prevention for National Burn Awareness Week.

While many people might associate burns with house fires, ovens, or even hair straighteners, doctors say the most common burns come from hot food or hot bath water.

In 2016, doctors at the Banner University Medical Center treated nearly 300 people and performed about 1,000 procedures.

Many of these burns often are seen in young children or the elderly, because their skin is more tender.

Hot water burns are common in young children, but can be easily prevented by turning down the water heater.

"Anything over 120 is absolutely dangerous," said Dr. Arpana Jain, assistant professor at the University of Arizona and Banner University Medical Center. "You think you're going to mix the water with cold water, but if you have a kid, especially a toddler, [they] may not know what to do with it and then they can just turn on the water and get burned."

For the elderly, the most common reason for burns is from pavement.

Some may fall and burn themselves on hot pavement during the summer.

Most burns do heal, but severe burns can cause serious problems.

The deeper the burn, the more likely the scar.

Some can be so disfiguring, they can cause a person to lose function.

This can also cause a lot of psychological distress.

Doctors offered the following advice if you or a loved one is ever burned:

  • Stop the thing that is burning. If it’s a fire, extinguish it so not to spread.
  • If you’re trying to help someone else, make sure you are protected first.
  • It’s recommended to run room temperature water, not ice cold water over burn. Extreme cold can increase depth of burn
  • Immediately call 911 for help
  • Depending on severity – visit emergency or burn program.

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