Stay safe from burn injuries this holiday season
The holiday season should be a special time to gather and celebrate with loved ones. Yet many treasured holiday traditions can put people at risk for serious burn injuries.
Tips for avoiding common holiday-related injuries and where to seek comprehensive burn care in Florida
Nashville, TN — The holiday season should be a special time to gather and celebrate with loved ones. Yet many treasured holiday traditions can put people at risk for serious burn injuries.
- Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of residential fires. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas and Christmas Eve.*
- Fire departments respond to an average of 790 home structure fires per year that are caused by holiday decorations.*
- Ten percent of annual fireworks-related fires occur around New Year’s celebrations, peaking on New Year’s Day.*
“The holidays are the season for us to gather, cook and be grateful for family and friends. No one wants to end up in the emergency room because of a cooking incident, wayward candles or a fireworks accident,” said Dr. Haaris Mir, chief of burn at Kendall Regional Medical Center's Burn and Reconstructive Care Center. “Year over year, we see preventable accidents change the lives of so many. This season, we urge the community to take proper precautions when engaging in holiday activities to keep your loved ones safe from burns and injuries.”
Remember the following tips to stay safe during the upcoming festivities:
- Check your home’s smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Always use a turkey fryer outdoors on a flat surface, 10 feet away from structures and trees.
- Ensure a live Christmas tree has enough water and is far away from heat sources.
- Do not leave lit candles unsupervised or out of sight.
- Use decorative Christmas lights that are safety-tested by a legitimate laboratory.
- Don’t stand over fireworks while lighting a fuse, and keep water nearby just in case.
Despite precautions, accidents do happen during holiday festivities. If you or a loved one experiences a burn injury, HCA Florida Healthcare is home to two of the state’s six designated burn centers at Kendall Regional Medical Center in Miami and Blake Medical Center in Bradenton. Both of these facilities offer state-of-the-art burn treatment and reconstructive care.
“While first-degree burns can be treated at home with cool water and a topical anesthetic cream, more severe burns require medical attention. The more serious the burn, the higher the risk of infection, dehydration, sepsis, tetanus or damage to your nervous system, making it critical to seek specialized burn treatment from the experts,” said Michael Van Vliet, MD, FACS, Blake Medical Center Burn Medical Director, “Our burn and reconstructive care center team is trained in serving patients of all ages and burns of all types and degrees.”
Serving Miami-Dade County, Kendall Regional Medical Center offers comprehensive burn care and was recently named the top Burn Center in South Florida by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. Blake Medical Center provides full-service inpatient and outpatient burn care to patients throughout southwest Florida, from initial evaluations to reconstructive surgery. Additionally, HCA Florida Brandon Hospital’s burn and reconstructive clinic offers inpatient and outpatient services to patients throughout the Tampa Bay area and Capital Regional Medical Center provides comprehensive outpatient burn care to patients in Tallahassee and the surrounding areas.
All four facilities are affiliated with HCA Florida Healthcare, the state’s leading collaborative network of more than 400 affiliated sites of care, including hospitals, physician practices and freestanding ERs. The network unites more than 11,000 medical staff physicians and more than 77,000 colleagues, caring for more than 6.4 million patients in Florida each year. The network of hospitals, freestanding ERs and physician practices are adopting the HCA Florida Healthcare statewide brand with new names and logos through spring 2022.
*All statistics are from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Fire Protection Association.