Andersen fire department shares tips during burn awareness week Published Jan. 23, 2008 By Staff Sgt. Blaine Holland 36th Civil Engineering Squadron ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- National Burn Awareness Week is February 3 through 9. More than 50,000 Americans are hospitalized annually for burns, according to the American Burn Association. It is important for one to do everything possible to prevent and protect his/herself and family members from burn related injuries. Younger children are at a higher risk for burn injury due to thinner skin and the short amount of time it takes to burn more deeply. In a manner of seconds, children can sustain physical and emotional damage. To prevent burn injuries, it is important to always be attentive to food while cooking. Creating a safe zone around heat producing appliance from children will ensure curious hands and bodies do not get burned. Smoke detectors offer early warning and detection that can save lives. Be sure there is a smoke detector on every level and installed in every sleeping area. Also, check them once a month to ensure operation. Remember, if a burn occurs, call 911 immediately and state that the call is being made from Andersen. Cool the burn with cool water until the ambulance arrives, but never use grease, butter, or ointments on a burn. Also, do not remove clothing from the burn area. Here are other helpful tips for the prevention burns: - When cooking, use back burners when possible and keep pot handles turned to the inside so they do not stick out over the front of the stove. If left within reach, a child may grab or tip the pot over. - Keep electrical cords for cooking appliances away from counter edges. This will prevent a child from pulling appliances off counter-tops. - Test bath water before putting children into bathtubs. Children can be scalded by bath water in only a few seconds. Set water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below and always provide supervision. The majority of burn injuries to children are caused by scalding. Burns are one of the leading causes of accidental death in the home for children ages 4 and younger.