NYC Burn Injury Lawyer Discusses: Protecting New York Children from Fire Accidents & Burn Injuries
When kids develop severe burn injuries, they often suffer more than some adults due to their skin’s thinness and added sensitivity explains New York City burn injury lawyer, Arkady Frekhtman, at the F&A accident law firm. That’s why adults must immediately rush seriously burned children to the nearest emergency room. Furthermore, burns are the third leading cause of death for kids, just behind auto accidents and drowning.
Although overall burn rates for children age 19 and under decreased significantly between 1999 and 2013, they actually increased 30% between 2012 and 2013. Parents, teachers and all other adults must proactively safeguard young children’s surroundings and teach them at a young age to never play with matches or touch any hot surfaces. They should also be discouraged from ever running their own bath water.
Fortunately, New York has some excellent burn treatment centers for children who do suffer serious burns.
The following facts and statistics help further explain the full extent of this problem.
Statistics Document the Extent of Children’s Burn Injuries
- The annual number of children’s burn deaths remain unacceptable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 334 children (age 19 and under) died from fire or burn injuries during 2013. The vast majority of those deaths (87% — 291 of the total) were caused by residential fires. Too many American families keep failing to purchase and properly maintain smoke alarms in their homes. Many apartment landlords are just now providing this protection to tenants. According to a 2012 study published by the National Fire Protection Association, the second biggest mistake we all keep making is using unsafe cooking equipment;
- Emergency room visits also remain too high. During 2013, about 126,035 children had to be seen in emergency rooms for fire and burn injuries;
- Infants and toddlers age four and under are especially vulnerable. They suffered forty-four percent (44%) of the total fire/burn deaths in 2013. That’s nearly twice the rate for children age five to nine years of age — and four times the number of deaths that children between the ages of ten and fourteen suffer annually. While it’s great that older children may be listening to our warnings, society still owes infants and toddlers far better protection.
If every adult will periodically review the following fire and burn prevention facts, we may be able to start markedly decreasing children’s annual deaths and injuries due to these causes.
Safety Tips and Information Regarding Fires and Burn Injuries
- It only takes about two minutes – especially at night – for children to die or suffer debilitating burn injuries. That’s the amount of time it takes for the average home or living space to fill up with black smoke and become fully engulfed in flames;
- Young children are especially susceptible to scald burns – once they’re exposed to hot liquids or steam. However, older children are more apt to suffer contact burns, those resulting from direct contact with fire;
- Individual and societal medical costs for children’s burn injuries are high. The average per case cost for treating unintentional fire/burn injuries suffered by children (age 19 and under) is about $14,500;
- Fire escape plans are necessary for all home and apartment residents. In fact, only about 23% of Americans have created fire escape plans – and practiced them often enough to make them useful for their children and other family members. Also, every home should have at least one fire extinguisher;
- Too many adults fail to recognize that bathroom tap water burns cause serious harm to many children. One survey reported that only eight percent (8%) of adults recognize how dangerous it is to place children alone in bath water – even for just a few minutes.
Where Should You Get Treatment for a Child Suffering Fire or Burn Injuries in New York?
Fortunately, a number of large metropolitan areas around the country have opened children’s hospitals. The New York City area certainly has its share – and some have special burn units – or can immediately transfer your child to the nearest pediatric burn treatment center. You can also check the U. S. News & World Report listing for best children’s hospitals in New York – and then contact each one to find out if they have a special burn unit for children.
Two New York hospitals with burn treatment facilities have received the high ratings conferred by the American Burn Association (ABA) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS). They are the Weill Cornell Medicine William Randolph Hearst Burn Center in New York (currently certified through the end of April, 2019) and the University of Rochester, Kessler Burn Center in Rochester. (This latter hospital is currently certified by the ABA and ACS through November 2018.)
Please visit our firm’s general information page on burns – to gain a better understanding of the distinction between first-, second-, and third-degree burn injuries – and to learn more about critical treatment and recovery issues. Finally, always confer with your child’s treating physician when seeking the best burn care available – right before contacting your New York personal injury lawyer.