Parents throughout Baltimore, Montgomery, Prattville, and surrounding areas need to be aware that their children are at risk of suffering serious injuries due to burns. Yahoo News reports that burns send approximately 440,000 children to emergency rooms or urgent care centers seeking medical assistance every year in the United States. Children who are young are especially vulnerable to being badly burned and needing medical assistance.
Burns frequently occur in accidents caused by negligence. If someone’s carelessness causes a child to suffer a burn, a personal injury lawyer should be consulted for help.
Burn Injuries Endanger Children
There are many different causes of burn injuries among young children. Gas fireplaces in the home are a top source of burn injuries. As of a 2012 survey, more than 10 million homes in the United States had a gas fireplace installed that had a front made of glass. Many people are not aware of it, but this glass can become very hot to the touch and children can get burned. To try to protect kids, there are new standards going into effect. As of January 1, 2015, all gas fireplaces that are manufactured and certified must have a protective barrier or a safety screen. Any gas manufacturer not in compliance with safety rules or who makes an unsafe fireplace can be held legally liable if children get burned.
Very young children are at the greatest risk of sustaining all types of burn injuries. A UK study of 1,215 children who had sustained burns over a two-year period of time found that 72 percent of the kids that got hurt were under the age of five. Among the kids in this study, more than 700 suffered burns because of scalding.
Scalding can happen because of hot beverages served at restaurants. One famous example of an injury due to scalding that resulted in litigation was the McDonald’s coffee case. This case is often cited (usually by people who want to deprive plaintiffs of their legal rights) as a reason to reform the civil litigation system in the United States. People who do not know the truth of the incident may feel that it was silly or frivolous for a person to sue because she was burned by hot coffee, and they think that the verdict was inappropriately large.
The reality is very different. As the Daily Mail reports, the plaintiff in the hot coffee case sustained burns on 16 percent of her body. The coffee was 180 degrees, which can cause third degree burns in only 15 seconds. McDonald's had received more than 700 complaints about the hot coffee prior to the incident, and had not done anything to correct the issue. And, the money awarded to the plaintiff was based on how much McDonald’s makes daily from selling coffee.
Hot soup is another top cause of scalding injuries, especially noodle soup. Kids are served soup in Styrofoam containers that can quickly get too hot. If kids drop the soup, they can suffer injuries to their trunk and legs. Noodle soup is most dangerous because the noodles stick to the skin. One study showed that noodle soup burns usually lead to significantly longer hospital stays than burns from other soups.
Restaurants and stores serving children need to be careful to avoid carelessly harming kids with the food they serve. Parents need to be aware of the risks and monitor their children to help prevent a tragedy.
Accident lawyers in Montgomery, Alabama can help if you have been injured in an accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE or visit www.slocumblaw.com. Serving Montgomery, Prattville, and surrounding areas.