According to the American Burn Association (ABA), about 450,000 severe burn injuries affect residents of the United States every single year, rendering them in need of professional medical attention. Yet the very real risk of being seriously burned is often at the back of our minds, and in truth, many of us may engage in dangerous behavior against our better judgment: for instance, venturing/staying outside during a lightning storm, using electrical devices while bathing, or failing to replace a frayed charging cable for weeks on end. Thus, to promote burn prevention and public safety, the ABA annually sponsors National Burn Awareness Week.
If you want to join in observing National Burn Awareness Week with our attorneys at Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn, P.C., there are several ways in which you can support the cause from February 7 to 13, 2021 — and beyond.
Read Up on the Issue
The first step in raising awareness is to ensure that you are well read on the issue yourself. For 2021, the ABA deemed National Burn Awareness Week’s theme “Electrical Safety from Amps to Zap (A to Z),” so to prepare, read up on electrical burns. Then, you will be able to confidently reduce your personal risk of suffering these burns and share your knowledge with your friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances.
What Is an Electrical Burn?
Any burn sustained as a result of coming into contact with an electrical current is classified as an electrical burn. Using defective air conditioning and heating appliances, touching electrical outlets, using electrical devices near water, or accidentally submerging electrical devices in water are all common circumstances that lead to these burns. Being struck by lightning is also an example of an electrical burn.
Given that electrical burns result from an electrical current running through your body, they do not manifest in the same way as a burn from a hot surface, such as a pan. In fact, many electrical burns cause severe damage to internal tissues and organs — often, the heart and kidneys — while causing little to no damage to the outer layer of skin. Therefore, if you or someone you know sustains an electrical burn, seek medical attention immediately.
To prevent electrical burns, make sure to follow these common-sense safety tips:
- Do NOT use frayed wires or cords.
- Do NOT vacuum wet or damp areas.
- Do NOT approach downed power lines.
- Do NOT use any electrical appliance near still or running water.
- Do NOT touch power outlets with metal objects or with your fingers.
- Do NOT use a metal fork or knife to retrieve any food, such as toast, from an oven.
Share Your Knowledge with Others
Once you have read up more on this issue, it is encouraged that you share your knowledge with others to raise awareness of the severity and prevalence of burns. A couple of options include sharing posts on social media or creating a social media campaign. If you are comfortable with talking to strangers, you could wear the red burn awareness ribbon and answer the questions of (kind) inquiring strangers.
Donate to Burn Charities and Support Groups
If you have the funds to spare, consider donating to a burn center, burn survivor support group, or burn charity or foundation. By doing so, you can help these non-profit organizations fund their advocacy efforts and research and even help them afford medical supplies to treat burn patients under their care. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this past year has been extremely rough for much of the U.S., especially for those in the health care sector; therefore, helping in this manner is greatly appreciated.
Volunteer Your Time
You can also donate your time to the cause by volunteering at burn centers/care organizations or by joining a committee or special interest group. Since burn awareness advocacy does not stop after National Burn Awareness Week ends, this is a very effective and long-term way to get involved. That being said, even volunteering for a day or weekend is better than not volunteering at all.
To volunteer with the ABA, visit its community involvement webpage here.
About Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn, P.C.
Having represented countless burn survivors in litigation against the parties that injured them, our attorneys at Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn, P.C. are deeply committed to raising awareness of the prevalence of burns in the U.S. and how dangerous they can be. Since 1975, we have always fought on the side of the plaintiff, and since then, we have achieved more verdicts than any other Rhode Island law firm. Collectively, all our verdicts and settlements amount to more than $1 billion in recovered compensation for our clients.
For experienced legal counsel, contact Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn, P.C. onlineor call us at (401) 200-4059.