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Chemical Burn

Chemical burns can occur from contact with several elements. Harsh acids, drain cleaners, paint thinner, and to name a few. Typically, one understands the reasoning for the burn and its basis. However, weaker chemicals may initially leave unnoticeable burns. Sunburn, for example, does not become apparent until after an extended period of exposure. After the period of exposure, only then will discomfort set in, and discolored skin becomes evident. If you don’t know if a chemical is harmful, call Poison Help United States line at 800-222-1222. Bring the chemical container (or the name of the chemical at the very least) with you to the emergency medical treatment center.

When to Call 911

  • The burn injury is a second- or third-degree burn
  • The burn injury exceeds more than three inches (approximately eight centimeters) in diameter
  • The hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks, or significant joint were affected by the burn injury

What Should I Do for a Chemical Burn?

  • Eliminate the source of the burn
  • Wash a liquid chemical from the skin with cool water from a faucet for a minimum of 10 minutes
  • Wipe off any lingering dry chemical before washing with cool water from a faucet for a minimum of 10 minutes
  • If the hands aren’t affected, used gloves or a towel for protection; otherwise, use a fitting object to help wipe off a dry substance
  • All clothing and jewelry toxified by the substance must be taken off
  • Wrap the burn injury in non-adhesive gauze or bandage. Cover the wrapping with a clean cloth. Avoid wrapping and covering too tightly to keep pressure off the burnt skin
  • If burning sensation continues after the first washing, rewash the burn injury with cool water for ten more minutes

Ensure your tetanus booster is up to date

Electrical Burn

Electrical burns can occur from tasers, lightning, light switches, wall outlets, and other household locations. Minor, first-degree electrical burn injuries can be treated the same as other minor burn injuries. It is essential to consult with a doctor after an electrical burn as severe damage can occur to internal tissues, specifically in the arms or legs. The internal injury has the potential to be worse than what is visible on the skin.

What Should I Do for an Electrical Burn?

Dial 911 or the local emergency line if the electrical burn injury was from a high-voltage electrical wire or lightning. Stay away from the wire until it is shut off as telephone and power lines usually aren’t insulated. If you ever see a down power line, keep a minimum of twenty feet (or six meters) away, even further if it is flailing around or sparking. Never move an electrocuted individual unless in instant peril.

When to Call 911

  • Critical burns
  • Disorientation
  • Trouble breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias)
  • Heart attack
  • Seizing, muscle pain, and contractions
  • Unconsciousness

What Should I do While Help Arrives?

  • Shut off the power
  • If unable to shut off power, use insulated and nonconducting materials, such as cardboard, plastic, or wood, to distance the power source from yourself and the injured individual
  • If the injured individual is not breathing, coughing, or showing any other life signs, begin CPR
  • Keep the injured individual warm, do not allow them to become cold
  • Wrap all burn injuries using a disinfected gauze bandage if obtainable; otherwise, use a clean cloth. Never wrap an injured individual with a blanket or towel as loose fibers will get caught on the burns.

Hot Water Burn

Critical skin burns or scalding injuries can occur to the hands and face from simply over-heating a cup in a microwave oven. It is possible to over-heat a cup of water (beyond the boiling point) without it looking like it is boiling. Hot water burns ensue when water is heated in a fresh cup. The hazard of overheating is significantly decreased when coffee or sugar are mixed into the water before heating. If water doesn’t appear to be overheated via boiling, lifting the cup out of the microwave or adding instant coffee can cause the water to blast out of the cup.

How Do I Avoid Over-Heating Water?

  • Always adhere to the instructions and heating instructions provided by the microwave oven’s manufacturer
  • Do not allow liquids to heat for unnecessary lengths of time
  • Establish the optimal time and heat setting for heating liquids in the microwave oven and use the two sets habitually

Scald Burn

Scalds are caused by wet heat, while burns are caused by dry heat. Most scalds can be remedied on your own; however, some will require medical attention as they can be life-endangering. Any scald or burn injury exceeding three inches or affecting more than one limb or location of the body needs instant medical care. The two high-risk demographics are children younger than five and adults older than sixty-five. Constant supervision of young children is the key to averting a scald burn injury. Improved understanding is a fundamental factor to scald avoidance.

Safety Precautions & Statistics


  • Use back burners and turn handles in to avoid snagging them with your body or clothes, spilling the hot contents on yourself, child, or pet
  • Never cook with loose, long-sleeved clothing, especially with an open flame
  • Always roll up long-sleeves if short sleeves aren’t an option
  • Never walk away from cooking food
  • Open microwaves, grills, and ovens slowly to avoid burning your face
  • Let food cool off before eating
  • Have a path unobstructed of objects and children before moving hot liquids
  • When dining with young children, place hot foods in the center of the table and try not to use tablecloths to keep children from pulling on them, spilling hot food onto themselves or someone else
  • Do not allow children in the kitchen while cooking
  • Never hold a child while maneuvering a hot liquid
  • Clean spills promptly and your oven frequently as accumulated grease is flammable
  • Keep the kitchen free of untidiness
  • Keep the water heater at or below 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Use safety valves to limit hot water exposure in the tub/shower
  • Always supervise young children in the bathroom
  • Always check the bathwater temperature before bathing an infant, toddler, or young child


  • Scalds are the most significant source of burn injuries in young children and elderly adults
  • Hot liquids can produce first, second, and third degree burns contingent upon the temperature and duration of contact or exposure
  • Liquids at 155 degrees Fahrenheit can produce a third-degree burn in one second
  • The chance of a scald injury can be drastically decreased by setting your water heater to 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit

Free Burn Injury Legal Consultation

The attorney you choose does make a difference; don’t get hurt twice. Our expert legal team has proven to be dedicated, compassionate, and most importantly, effective fighters for our clients. We have handled thousands of personal injury cases and recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We are with you every step of the way. We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, and we never charge a fee unless we win. Hollingsworth Law Firm is located at 1415 North Loop West, Suite 200, Houston, Texas 77008. You can call us at 713.637.4560 or fax at 713.474.9017. Our office is open Monday through Friday from seven in the morning until seven at night, closed on Saturday and Sunday. You can always send us a message on our website.

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