It’s important for people to understand the causes of childhood burn injuries, how they could have been prevented, the severity of the burn, and the possible long-term effects when filing an injury claim. Pediatric burn injuries can require extensive and expensive medical care. Recovery time can be long and there is a risk of infection and scarring.
What is a Burn?
A burn is an injury that causes damage to the skin and depending on the severity, additional underlying tissues in the body. Skin cells and other affected tissue cells die. Burn injuries can be caused from exposure to hot liquids, steam, hot surfaces, fire or sun exposure. It is also possible to receive burns from some chemicals or from electrical current. However, if these types of burns are suspected, immediate medical care is needed even if there are no signs of severe skin damage because they can cause serious internal injuries.
Four Degrees of Burns
There are four degrees of burns. First-degree burns, while painful, will cause the skin to turn red with no blisters. Second-degree burns cause blisters and may require medical care to prevent infection. Third-degree burns are extremely serious and require immediate medical attention. They may have a waxy white or charred appearance. Fourth-degree burns are the most severe type and involve skin damage and damage to muscle, bone, tendon or organs.
Preventing Burn Injuries
According to the CDC, over 300 children under the age of 19 are treated for burn injuries each day in emergency rooms across the country. And every day, two children die from their injuries. Younger children are at risk for scald burns that are caused from hot water or steam. Older children are more likely to suffer burn injuries from exposure to fire flames.
Many burn injuries can be prevented by:
- Installing and maintaining smoke alarms in the home
- Setting the water heater temperature to 120 degrees or lower
- Neveleaveng children unattended with food cooking on stove, oven or microwave
When Negligence Leads to Burns
It is always a tragedy when a child is injured. When the injury occurs because of negligence on the part of a caregiver or other party, the parent can file a claim for compensation. A personal injury lawyer can help the parent obtain money for medical bills, pain and suffering and other losses associated with the child’s injury.