Burn surgeon gives tips on summer burn safety

Burn surgeon gives tips on summer burn safety

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - From grills to boils and of course, fireworks, the risk for summertime burns is all around.

The Baton Rouge General Regional Burn Center reports an increase in injuries for both kids and adults from June through August. Burn surgeon Dr. Tracee Short explained that burns can quickly become critical.

"The skin is the largest organ you have," she said. "It is your barrier to infection. It controls and regulates temperatures. It keeps fluids in. So, when you have big burn wounds, that first line of defense you have is gone."

Each year, thousands of people are sent to the emergency room due to fireworks. Short actually tells her patients to cut out the danger and leave the fiery display to the professionals. However, if you insist on shooting them off yourself, she urges people to follow all directions, supervise kids at all times and remember that sparklers, although small, are extremely dangerous.

However, the most common burn injuries actually come from the home. The surgeon said adult burns are usually related to gasoline use and pediatric burns are most commonly caused by scalds.

"They're cooking or trying to cook. Instant noodles, boiling water, non-microwave safe containers - they wind up spilling it on themselves," she said.

Short also said the second most common cause of pediatric burns are related to grilling. When grilling, it is important to never use gasoline as a starter. The fumes can actually ignite, leading to a flash burn. Make sure children are kept a safe distance away from any hot surface. Finally, always have a "designated griller."

"The final thing is actually not be intoxicated while grilling. Then, you won't make too many mistakes, which could land you in the burn center," Short added.

The doctor also explained that the very young and the very old are especially vulnerable to burns because their skin is much thinner. Therefore, it does not take as much heat to create a severe injury.

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