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Preventing Burns during the Holidays

The upcoming Jewish holidays are a particular time of high risks for burns and house fires. The Burn Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, New Jersey’s only burn center, wants to make sure everyone stays safe during the upcoming holidays.

“The holidays always present a high risk for burns due to house fires as well as individuals who are burned while cooking and preparing hot food. Simple precautions can prevent tragedy during the holiday season,” says Michael Marano, MD, Medical Director, The Burn Center.

Please take the following precautions to keep your family safe:

  • Extra precautions should be taken to insure that the children are safe. Young children can easily be scalded from hot foods spilled down onto them from a tabletop or the kitchen counter and can suffer serious injury from playing too near a stove.
  • Remind your children OFTEN…lit candles are only for looking at. They should NEVER be touched!
  • Keep Shabbat, Yom Tov and Yahrzeit candles out of the reach of small children and pets.
  • Always place candlesticks on a metal tray in the middle of the table to avoid a table or tablecloth catching fire should the candles fall.
  • Never place candles near or under anything flammable, under kitchen cabinets, near window curtains, or where a child or pet can knock the candles over
  • When lighting and blessing candles, tie back long hair and make sure loose clothing and sleeves are not near the fire when placing your hands over the flames.
  • All children have a natural curiosity about fire so it is important to teach them about matches, lighters and fire safety. Forbid children to strike a match without adult supervision.
  • When lighting multiple Shabbat candles, be extra careful because they generate more heat.
  • When lighting and holding Havdalah candles, it is important to protect your hands from dripping wax.
  • Do not leave electronic devices charging over Shabbat or Yom Tov.

In the event of a burn, it is important to immediately take the following steps:

  • Cool all burns with tepid to cool water, regardless of degree, and continue flushing the area for up to 10 minutes.
  • Do not apply ice, ointments, butter or other “home remedies”.
  • Remove all clothing or garments to reduce the contact time with the hot items.
  • Cover affected areas with a clean dry cloth, towel or blanket to protect the burn and minimize pain.
  • Seek medical attention if the burn is larger than the victim’s hand size, if the victim is a child or an elderly person.

Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ provides Bikur Cholim accommodations for Shabbat and Holidays, please contact Pastoral Care between the hours of 8:00 am - 3:00 pm (973.322.5015) or ask your nurse for the Nursing Supervisor at any other time. For more information about The Burn Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, visit www.njburncenter.com.

We wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year.