National Burn Awareness Week 2021: How to Support the Cause
Unfortunately, many of us are not as attentive as we should be when it comes to preventing severe burns. To combat this, the American Burn Association (ABA) has sponsored National Burn Awareness Week every year to raise awareness of how traumatic and serious suffering a burn can be, as well as to encourage people to follow burn prevention and safety guidelines. Our burn injury team at Cullan & Cullan invites you to observe National Burn Awareness Week 2021, from February 7th to 13th, by helping spread awareness and prevention tips and supporting burn centers, charities, and foundations.
National Burn Statistics
According to the ABA, more than 450,000 United States residents suffer a severe burn that requires medical care every single year — about 73% of these burns occur at home. With COVID-19 keeping us inside our homes for safety, it is important to ensure that you and your family, especially the children, are educated on how to avoid being burned.
For 2021, National Burn Awareness Week aims to highlight electrical burn safety, thus its theme is “Electrical Safety from Amps to Zap (A to Z).” Although electricity is one of the greatest conveniences of contemporary life, it carries many risks that many individuals regard with complacency. This can lead individuals to act against their best judgment, such as using frayed charging cords, old/poorly maintained heaters, or electrical devices near still or running water (e.g. using your cell phone in the bath).
Are Electrical Burns Really That Serious?
The reason why electrical burns are so serious is that they directly result from an electrical current coming into contact with and running through a person’s body. Often, these burns damage internal organs and tissues —such as the nervous system, heart, kidneys, and muscles — without doing any damage to the epidermis, or outer layer of skin. As such, many electrical burn survivors require surgery to treat their internal injuries.
Moreover, these burns can easily cause a person to lose consciousness, therefore allowing any internal damage to get progressively worse. In some cases, a person may remain conscious but mistakenly believe they are fine because they appear to be uninjured on the outside, which again allows their condition to worsen. If you or someone you know is affected by an electrical burn, it is important to see a medical professional immediately.
Easy-to-Remember Prevention Tips
In order to protect yourself and your loved ones from these burns, Cullan & Cullan has compiled a list of 10 electrical burn prevention tips:
- Stay inside during lightning storms.
- Replace frayed or brittle wires and cords immediately.
- Refrain from using hair tools and other electrical appliances near running or still water.
- Refrain from using your cell phone or any other electronic device in the bath/shower.
- Covered unused power outlets with safety caps.
- Do not stick metal utensils/tools into electrical sockets.
- Do not use metal utensils to retrieve food from electrical appliances, such as a toaster or an oven.
- Do not approach downed power lines.
- Do not try to handle work that should be done by an electrician on your own.
- Do not rely on rubber-soled shoes to decrease your chance of electrocution. (Please note: Wearing rubber-soled shoes is only a precaution and does NOT guarantee that you will be safe from electrocution.)
How to Get Involved
Now that you have some basic knowledge about the prevalence of this public health issue, it is time to do something about it. The first step is to become more educated on the subject: Read up on electrical burns and listen to the stories of burn survivors and their loved ones. The next step is to share all the information you learned with other people in your life. You can do so by posting about it on social media, starting a social media or email campaign, arranging a panel on the matter, or the like.
Another way in which you can help support the cause is by donating to burn centers to help them afford the cost of caring for burn survivors; even a small donation can go a long way, as the vast majority of these centers are non-profit organizations. Burn support groups and burn research centers are also often in need of donations to continue their operations.
If you do not have the funds to make a donation yourself, running a fundraiser is a viable option for many people. A few fundraising examples that adhere to COVID-19 prevention guidelines include hosting the following events virtually:
- Game/trivia nights
- Movie nights
- Runs and/or walks
Another way to get involved besides by raising awareness by raising money is to volunteer at a local burn center or burn institute. The Arizona Burn Foundation, the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, the Arizona Burn Center, and the ABA all offer volunteer opportunities.
About Cullan & Cullan
Cullan & Cullan has a team of attorneys dedicated to representing burn survivors in civil suits against the negligent parties responsible for their injuries. Our firm is unique in that our attorneys are also doctors, meaning they provide our clients with a different, more comprehensive approach to legal representation. If you are in need of legal assistance, our Phoenix firm can help. Contact us onlinetoday to get started.