The first week of February is designated Burn Awareness Week. It only takes a second for a burn to occur and this month we encourage you to do a little preventative work in the name of burn safety.
Burns are typically categorized as 1st degree, 2nd degree or 3rd degree. A 1st degree burn is the most minor and a 3rd degree is the most severe. In all cases, a burn should be taken seriously. If you have any concerns that a burn may be more than superficial, call 911 and seek immediate medical treatment. For minor burns, running cold water over the burn, lightly covering the area with a sterile wrap and removing jewelry or clothing that may rub against the burn may provide short term relief until you determine the severity of the burn and if additional medical treatment is required.
Food, beverage and service preparation can pose a high risk of incident. While cooking and preparing hot items for service, please keep kids out of the work area. Pots and pans should have handles pushed in and out of the way. Hot pads and proper equipment should be available to handle pot and pans during transfer. Hot coffee and tea should be placed away from the edges of servicing tables. Also, crockpots, warming trays or other items which require a plug-in outlet should be placed in such a way that no one will trip over the cords or accidentally touch the hot surface. One innocent tug of the table cloth, cord or pot and a child can easily be severely scalded or burned.
Heat sources can also prove to be hot to the touch and potentially dangerous. Define all items in the building that your staff, volunteers or congregates may have access to and may be unsafe to touch due to temperature. Post and clearly label dangerous areas and items.
The outdoors pose a different kind of burn threat called frostbite. In the winter, please encourage your outdoor staff to cover all areas of their body in layers and proper outdoor gear. Also, require frequent breaks indoors to warm themselves and prevent prolonged exposure to frigid conditions and frostbite dangers. If it takes an extra 30 minutes to clear the walkway, it’s a small price to pay for keeping your outdoor staff healthy.