Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Merit Health Central Raising Burn Awareness & Prevention

The Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Merit Health Central in Jackson, Mississippi, is celebrating Burn Awareness Week February 2-8. This year’s theme from the American Burn Association is “Contact Burns — Hot Surfaces Damage Skin!”

“Items and surfaces that can cause a burn injury are not always where you would expect them to be. Some of the burns we’ve treated have come from playground equipment, pavement, and household appliances,” said Dr. William Lineaweaver, medical director of the burn center.

In 2019, the American Academy of Professional CodersTM estimated that every minute someone in the United States suffered a burn injury severe enough to require treatment. Dr. Lineaweaver said many of those injuries could be avoided with a little caution and preparation.

“The injuries themselves might not be covering a large area, but that doesn’t mean they are not significant,” Dr. Lineaweaver said.

Some safety tips include:

When children are around, create a three-foot safe zone around any hot surface, whether it is a stove, fireplace or grill.

When cooking, keep hot pots and pans toward the back of the stove and away from countertop edges.

Before leaving the bathroom, make sure all curling irons, hair dryers or flat irons are unplugged. These appliances can stay hot long after you have stopped using them or turned them off, so make sure that they are out of reach of children.

Check playground equipment and pavement before letting children play: If a surface is too hot for you, it’s too hot for them.

In addition, it’s important to regularly check your smoke detectors and develop and practice an escape plan for your family.

“Burns are often serious injuries, so we hope everyone will practice an extra measure of caution to avoid them in the first place,” Dr. Lineaweaver said.

For more information on burn prevention tips, visit

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