Burn Injuries and Keeping Kids Safe
Burn injuries to kids can be devastating and cause life-long physical as well as emotional difficulties. Because children have access to household appliances, chemicals and other substances commonly found around a home, they are extremely susceptible to burn injuries.
The American Burn Association reports that there are about 500,000 burn injuries each year that require medical attention. Curiosity about a child’s environment often leads to unintended injuries. Children will place their hands or fingers on a hot stove or in the fireplace, play with matches or a lighter or spill a hot liquid on themselves. Hot lamps and toasters can also lead to first or even second degree burns in some cases.
Older children are burned from experimenting with fireworks that can also maim and lead to loss of fingers, hands or eyes. House fires from items left on stoves or from electrical defects also lead to severe burn injuries. Every Christmas season we hear of horror stories from Christmas trees that caught fire from faulty lights strewn around the tree or from an old or defective space heater.
Chemical burns from substances found in the home harm countless children every year. Statistics over the past few decades show that around 27 children per day suffer a burn injury.
Types of Burn Injuries
Children have more sensitive skin than adults so are more susceptible to serious injuries when burned. Burns are classified into first, second and third degree.
First degree burns are superficial and heal within days in most cases. Second degree burns indicate that the burn has extended through the dermis and into the epidermis level and implies a loss of skin function. Blisters are an indication of second degree burns. A second-degree burn is minor if it affects less than 15% of the body.
Third degree burns are the most severe since the dermis and epidermis have been destroyed or and all layers of the skin have been penetrated. Fluid and heat loss, nerve death and infection are common. During prolonged recovery, the victim can suffer extreme pain and loss of function.
Other complications from burn injuries to kids include damage to the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels. Joint function and dexterity can be impaired as well as causing damage to your body’s electrolyte balance. Smoke inhalation can lead to chronic or permanent respiratory problems.
Local Towns Support Fire Prevention Measures
Some Massachusetts towns have implemented safety prevention measures and programs designed to educate the public about how to avoid burn injuries and what to do if in situation where a fire is threatening your safety. The Shrewsbury and Westborough Fire Departments recently received grants for their SAFE (Student Awareness of Fire Education) and Senior SAFE programs with Shrewsbury having received $5,641 for its SAFE program and $2,996 for its seniors. Westborough received $4,540 for SAFE and $2,796 for its Senior SAFE.Seniors are also a group with a high propensity toward burn injuries.
Firefighters teach fire prevention training and response to even preschoolers. To highlight the effectiveness of their efforts, Shrewsbury city officials formally commended a young child with its Young Hero Award after he alerted his family to a home fire and helped his sister to safety.
The SAFE and Senior SAFE programs have been around since around 1995. The municipalities that have these programs in their communities report a decrease in children deaths attributable to fires by as much as 70%.
Liability for Burn Injuries
Injuries that occur on someone else’s property can become a premises liability claim so long as the property owner was negligent in failing to recognize a burn hazard or ignored the risk including not installing smoke detectors, extinguishers or ensuring fire escape doorways or routes. Your claim can depend on whether the property was commercial or private and if you were lawfully on the premises.
Defective products such as toasters, space heaters, lamps or stoves can lead to fires and expose the manufacturer to possible liability
Damages in a Burn Injury Claim
Burn injuries can lead to devastating losses in medical, wage and emotional harm. You may be entitled to damages for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Vocational rehabilitation costs
- Past and future income loss
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Permanent disability
- Spousal loss of consortium
Contact Burn Injury Lawyer Neil Burns
Neil Burns understands the financial and emotional devastation that burn injuries to kids can cause to them and their families. As a Boston personal injury lawyer for over 30-years, Neil Burns has handled these difficult claims and has obtained millions of dollars in compensation for his injured clients in these and other injury claims.
Contact his office today for a free evaluation of your injury claim.