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716 Oakland Rd. NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
(319) 363-9923
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Iowa City, IA 52240
(319) 338-3096

Burn Safety: Thermal Burn Prevention and Treatment

The first week of February is National Burn Awareness Week, which means it’s the perfect time to brush up on burn safety tips. Do you know what’s the most common type of burn? If you guessed it has something to do with fire, boiling water or the sun, then you’d be right! Because thermal burns include all three.

Basically, thermal burns are caused by exposure to heated objects, rather than electricity, chemicals or radiation. You probably know how one feels, too, so it’s good to know what to do when a thermal burn happens. But it’s even better if you can prevent thermal burns in the first place!


How to Prevent Thermal Burns

Thermal burns are the most common type of burn, but luckily, thermal burns are also relatively easy to prevent because they are usually caused by accidents or negligence. But as we all know, accidents happen! That’s why it’s important to do the little things, like turning pot handles to the inside on the stove and applying sunscreen whenever outdoors. General fire safety practices, from smoke detectors to fire escape plans, will help prevent more serious thermal burns from occurring.


How to Treat Thermal Burns

Most thermal burns are mild, which means you can safely treat thermal burns at home. But you should know what a severe burn looks like, so you know when it’s necessary to go to the doctor. If the burn involves the eyes, immediately seek medical attention. For mild burns, cool the injured area with cold water for a few minutes. Then, apply an antibiotic ointment to reduce the chance of infection. If a blister forms, it’s best to let the blister heal on its own.


How to Prevent Hot Water Scalds

Yes, hot water burns and scalds are also considered thermal burns. Children are at a greater risk of all types of thermal burns, but the risk is especially high when it comes to hot water scalds. Most hot water scalds occur in the bathroom, so make sure your hot water heater isn’t set above 120 degrees Fahrenheit and always test the water temperature before getting into the bathtub. Do the same before consuming food and drinks!


Of course, the best way to prevent thermal burns is to prevent fires. If you’re looking for fire extinguishers, first aid kits or any other safety supplies, contact Hawkeye Fire & Safety in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.