One of the most common household injuries especially in children is burn, a type of injury to the skin or tissues caused by heat, cold, chemicals, electricity, radiation or friction. Mostly it is due to heat from hot liquids, solids or fire. Females have the higher risk which is related to open cooking fires or unsafe cook stoves. Other factors are alcoholism, smoking, self-harm or violence between people.
Under Proclamation No. 360, March was declared as Burn Prevention Month by President Corazon C. Aquino on January 23, 1989 for the intensified campaign on burn prevention and to minimize sufferings brought about by burns.
Depending on the degree and cause of the injury, most of the burn victims can recover from burns without serious health consequences while those with severe burn injury require immediate emergency medical care to prevent complications and death.
PREVETION OF ALL DEGREES OF BURNS:
Children and infants are the most vulnerable to burns. Certain jobs may also cause a higher risk and it also happens to home and the following are the preventive measures which can be taken at home:
- Keep children out of the kitchen while cooking
- Place matches and lighters on proper place and away from children’s reach
- Turn pot handles towards the back of the stove
- Electricity cords with exposed wires must be discarded
- Water heater temperature must be keep under 120 degrees Fahrenheit
- Wear gloves when handling chemicals and keep it out properly and out of reach
- Avoid peak sunlight and wear sunscreen protection if necessary
- Cigarettes and other smoking product should be thrown and stubbed out totally
In case of the event of a fire, crawl underneath smoke to minimize the risk of passing out and becoming trapped in a fire.
- Cool the burned area under cool running water for 10 to 15 minutes to ease the pain.
- Remove tight items quickly and gently from the area with burn before swelling.
- Don’t break small blisters
- Apply aloe vera lotion or gel to relieve pain in some cases
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever if needed
- Protect the burned person from further harm.
- Check signs of breathing, coughing and movement.
- Remove restrictive items from the burned areas and neckssuch as jewelries and belts
- Don’t immerse severe burns in cold water as it may cause serious loss of body heat or drop in blood pressure.
- If possible, raise the wound above heart level
- Cover the burned area with cool and moist bandage or a clean cloth.
DIET FOR BURN PATIENT’S RECOVERY
Nutrition is a major component in burn healing and treatment. As soon as possible, dietary needs of the patient must be evaluated. As no one formula is perfect, Nutritionist Dietitian and Physician will evaluate and adjust the patient’s diet as needed.
People who are recovering from burn will require high amounts of calories and protein for wound healing, weight maintenance and prevent infection. Supplement of vitamins and minerals is also recommended such as additional Vitamin A and C for collagen synthesis.
Burn patientsneed a lot of protein to help rebuild lost protein because of the increased protein loss through burn wounds and breakdown of muscles trying to produce extra energy for healing process. High protein foods include meats, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy foods, nuts and seeds.
Carbohydrates make up the bulk of the calories for the burn patient’s nutrition. Burn wounds need carbohydrate which the body turns it into glucose for energy and healing. Carbohydrates also prevent muscle protein to be used as source of fuel and therefore allow the protein to rebuild muscle. Foods sources of carbohydrates are rice, bread, pasta, cereals, crackers, sugar, beans, corn, potatoes, fruits and juice.
Fat is included in the diet to provide essential fatty acids and extra calories. The recommended calorie from fat is no more than 30 % as too much fat will weaken the immune system. Fat sources are oil, butter, cream, nuts, avocadoes, salad dressing, oily fish such as sardines and salmon.