While summer is a great time of the year to be outdoors and indulge in a variety of activities, many of these summertime activities can cause burn injuries. According to the American Burn Association, burn injuries continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury in the United States. Between 2010 and 2014, approximately 486,000 people were seen in emergency departments for treatment of non-fatal burn injuries. In 2014 alone, there were 3,275 deaths from fires, which includes 2,795 deaths from residential fires, 45 from car fires and 135 from other sources. Burn injuries can be serious and if you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Rhode Island burn injury lawyer.
What Summer Activities Most Commonly Lead To Burn Injuries?
Each year, 7,000 Americans are injured while grilling in their backyards, and summer time, of course, is the most popular time for grilling. There are several steps you can take to keep your family safe while having a cookout. First off, propane and charcoal grills are for outdoor use only. Parents are urged to keep children and pets at least 3 feet back from the grill at all times, as they do not understand how hot and dangerous a grill can be. By no means should children or pets ever be unattended while the grill is lit. Place the grill away from flammable objects, especially charcoal grills. Keep a lid on the grill as much as possible, as this will diminish the chances of a hot coal escaping or someone burning themselves. Finally, let the coals cool completely before disposing of them and keep emergency equipment nearby, such as a fire extinguisher.
The first thing you should do before setting off fireworks, is check your city’s rules and regulations, as in most places fireworks are highly regulated or even illegal. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 240 people go to the emergency room for firework-related injuries, daily, during the weeks surrounding the Fourth of July. More than half of firework-related injuries are burns. An astonishing 36% of firework burns are found on the hands and fingers, while about 22% are found on the head, face and ears. These regions of the body are affected the most because firework injuries are typically a result of handling or looking directly at a firework with a defective or delayed charge. When putting on a pyrotechnics display for the family and neighbors, parents are reminded keep children at a safe distance, ideally up on a porch or behind a fence so they cannot approach the grounded explosive. By no means should children ever be permitted to handle any fireworks, especially without adult supervision.
Additionally, don’t try to relight fireworks or pick them up if they did not fully ignite, as the charges sometimes delay or malfunction. As a safety measure, place any fireworks on a hard flat surface when igniting them, as to ensure they do no tip over and begin to fire towards the house or trees. Also, be sure to aim your fireworks at an open sky, with no branches or leaves to disrupt the trajectory of the explosive. However, you can never be too careful so be sure to keep water or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.
Safety Under The Sun:
People commonly underestimate the strength of the sun’s rays in the summertime. Beach goers often times neglect to apply sun screen just because it may be a bit cloudy, or they are one of those self-proclaimed lucky people with skin that “doesn’t burn.” These presumptions can be dangerous because the summer sun is strong enough to burn our skin, even on a cloudy day. Furthermore, if your skin tans well and you don’t get that blistering red sun burn, you are still at risk of contracting skin cancer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 1 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. However, skin cancer is preventable with good skin protection. One of the things to bear in mind when you head out in the sun, regardless of ethnicity or skin tone, is everyone can be negatively affected by overexposure to the sun. The sun is at its hottest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., which is prime time to go to the beach. Whether you are at the beach, fishing or just going for a walk, if you plan on spending a summer day in the sun, sunscreen is your best defense against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Lastly, we understand you want to be as tan as possible and soak up the warm sun, but we highly recommend the use of a beach umbrella, as it offers our skin a much needed break from the sun and can help you cool down.
Remember to stay hydrated at all times! Even if you do not feel thirsty, keep water bottles with you and drink some every 15 minutes. If you have been active, exercising or have been sweating all day, drink extra water to replace what your body has sweated out. If you plan on working outside, take breaks and hydrate often. We know that you have projects you want to complete and lawns to mow, but taking some extra time to cool down and rest will keep your body working longer and more efficiently. Slow and steady truly wins the race when it comes to extreme heat. We also recommend you wear protective, light-colored clothing to wick away sweat, stay cool, and keep the sun directly off your skin. People often underestimate how hot a sealed car can get in the sun, so be sure to never leave children or pets alone in vehicles.
Contact d’Oliveira & Associates Today!
If you have suffered a burn injury as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, contact an experienced Rhode Island burn injury lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights. Call us toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.