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Research Finds Americans Unaware of Burn Dangers at Home

New research conducted by the nonprofit Home Safety Council and H2otStop reveals that, while most adults in America (82 percent) agree that there are actions they could take to reduce the risk of burns in their home, nearly half (44 percent) say they haven't done so because they don't believe burns are a serious danger where they live.

In the United States, more than 112,000 people enter a hospital emergency room each year with hot tap water scald burns. Thousands more suffer injuries from hot foods and beverages heated on the stove or in the microwave.

Key Findings:

Three in four survey respondents (75 percent) indicate that they or a family member has suffered a burn at home, yet most aren't taking steps to protect their family. "Scald burn injuries can happen in the blink of an eye and clearly, the public is unaware of this danger," said Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council. "From the kitchen to the bathroom to the bedroom, and even in the backyard, it is crucial that parents and caregivers take actions to reduce the risk of devastating and even fatal scald burns in their homes."

Families Do Not Understand the Risk of Scald Burns to Children

• People underestimate the danger of scald burns for the very young. According to the American Burn Association, scald burns cause approximately 30 percent of all burns in all age groups. Scald burns occur most often in children under the age of five, yet fully two in five survey respondents thought that older children and adults were most at risk.
• While 60 percent of Americans are most concerned about the potential for burns in the kitchen, only 8 percent feel this way about their bathrooms, where injuries from hot water are common.

Families Are Not Taking Action to Protect Themselves

According to the new survey, a majority of Americans (74 percent) have not taken any actions to reduce the danger of scald burns at home. When it comes to particular scald burn risks, the lack of action is compelling.

• To prevent tap water burns, only a third of respondents (33 percent) have turned the hot water heater down below 120 degrees F, fewer than one in ten (7 percent) have tested the hot water temperature with a candy thermometer, and only a few (7 percent) have installed anti-scald devices.
• To safeguard against burns in general, less than half of respondents (44 percent) keep children out of the kitchen or cooking area while cooking and only one in two adults (46 percent) say they avoid placing hot food and beverages on table cloths that can be pulled by children or pets.

For more information, visit HomeSafetyCouncil.org or MySafeHome.org.

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