The Suffolk County Volunteer Firefighters Burn Center at Stony Brook University Hospital — the only designated burn care facility in Suffolk County — has 10 Safety Tips this July 4th Weekend as families continue to practice social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
Many will spend the holiday in their backyards for barbecues, cookouts or build fire pits where there’s a greater risk to sustain a burn injury. To avoid injury, Steven Sandoval, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery and Medical Director of the Suffolk County Volunteer Firefighters Burn Center at Stony Brook University Hospital, says “The best way to do this is to prevent the burn in the first place with safety tips and precautions to eliminate potential dangers.”
- Fireworks are safe for viewing only when being used by professionals.
- Sparklers are one of the most common ways children become burned this holiday, even with a parent’s supervision.
- Do not have children around any fireworks, firepits, barbecues or hot coals. Teach them not to grab objects or play with items that can be hot. Go through a lesson where they learn to ask permission.
- Limit the use of flammable liquids to start your fire pits and barbecues. Use only approved lighter fluids that are meant for cooking purposes. No gasoline or kerosene.
- Don’t leave hot coals from fire pits and barbecues laying on the ground for people to step in.
- When cleaning grills, the use of wire bristle brushes can result in ingestion of sharp bristle pieces requiring surgery.
- If you are overly tired, and consumed alcohol, do not use the stovetop, fire pit or a fireplace.
- Stay protected from the sun. Use hats and sunblock, and realize that sunblock needs to be reapplied after swimming or after sweating.
- Use the back burners of the stove to prevent children from reaching up and touching hot pots and pans.
- Always use oven mitts or potholders to remove hot items from the stove or microwave. Assume pots, pans and dishware are hot.
“If burned do not go anywhere but a facility that specializes in burn treatment,” says Dr. Sandoval.
As the only designated burn care facility for more than 1.5 million residents of Suffolk County, the Burn Center at Stony Brook University Hospital coordinates burn services throughout the county, and conducts training and research in burn care. The Burn Center also serves as a resource to neighboring community-based hospitals. Patients of all ages – from infants through geriatrics – are treated at the Burn Center.
To reach the Suffolk County Volunteer Firefighters Burn Center at Stony Brook University Hospital, call 631-444-4545.
For immediate help, call the burn unit directly at 631-444-BURN.
For an interview with Dr. Sandoval, please contact: Kali.Chan@stonybrookmedicine.edu or 631-487-4092.