Many burn injuries are the direct result of negligence and could have been prevented. Burn injury attorneys investigate the cause of a severe burn injury and aim to discover if responsibility or fault may lie with a manufacturer or other negligent party. If your burn injury is the result of carelessness, you may be entitled to compensation.
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Burns are some of the most common accidental injuries, especially in children. Babies and young children are most susceptible to burn injuries because they are curious, small and have very sensitive skin. Some minor burns are not cause for alarm and can be treated at home, but other more serious burns require medical care.

Common Causes of Burn Injuries

Scalds or Scalding burns - are the number one culprit and include scalds from steam, hot bath water, tipped over hot drinks such as coffee, and cooking fluids.

Thermal burns - Contact with flames or hot objects such as the stove, fireplace, curling iron, and candles.

Chemical burns - from swallowing things like drain cleaner and batteries or from spilling chemicals onto the skin such as bleach.

Electrical burns - from electrical cords and outlets or children sticking fingers or objects in electrical outlets.

Severity of Burns
Several factors are used to determine the severity of a burn, including the patient's age, size, depth of burn, and the location of the burn. Burns are classified as first degree, second degree, or third degree.

First degree burns are red and very sensitive to touch; the skin will appear blanched when light pressure is applied. These burns involve minimal tissue damage and only involve the epidermis (top layer of skin). These burns may cause pain, redness and swelling. A sunburn is a good example of a first degree burn. First degree burns can be treated at home by doing the following:

  • If the skin is not broken, run cool water over the burned area and soak it in a cool water.

  • Keep the burn victim calm.

  • After soaking the burn for several minutes, cover the burn with a sterile non-adhesive bandage or cloth.

  • Use over-the-counter pain medications to ease help; they may also help reduce inflammation and swelling.

  • Will usually heal without further treatment.

Second degree burns affect the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and the underlying layer of skin (dermis) and cause redness, pain, swelling and blisters. Second degree burns also affect sweat glands and hair follicles. If a second degree burn is not treated properly, swelling and decreased blood flow in the tissue can result in the burn becoming worse.

Third degree burns affect the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis, causing charring of the skin or a translucent white color with coagulated vessels visible just below the surface of the skin. These burns may be numb, but the burn victim may complain of pain due to other second degree burns. Healing from third degree burns is a very slow process due to the skin tissue and structures being destroyed, and third degree burns usually result in extensive scarring.

The treatment for second and third degree burns is the same:

  • Do not removed burnt clothing.
    Make sure the victim is breathing and if breathing has stopped, begin CPR.

  • If the victim is breathing, cover the burn with a cool moist sterile bandage or cloth. Do not use a blanket or towel; a bed sheet is best for large burns.

  • Do not apply ointment and avoid breaking blisters.

  • Separate burnt toes and fingers with dry sterile non-adhesive dressings.

  • Elevate the burned area if possible and protect it from pressure or friction.

  • Monitor the victim's vital signs.

  • Try to prevent shock by laying the victim flat with feet elevated about 12 inches and cover the victim with a coat or blanket.

  • Do not place the victim in this position if it makes the victim uncomfortable or if a head, neck, back or leg injury is also suspected.

  • Do not apply ice, ointment or butter to a burn.

  • Do not allow the burn to become contaminated.

  • Do not apply cold compresses.

  • Do not immerse the victim in cold water.

  • Do not place a pillow under the victim's head if there is an airway burn and they are lying down as this can close the airway
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