While the danger of direct flames receive a lot of attention, many people overlook a seemingly innocuous but equally hazardous agent – steam. For a moment, imagine cooking in your kitchen. Have you ever opened the lid of a hot tea kettle? The steam escapes instantly with immense heat. Next thing you know, you’re looking down at a painful steam burn.
But a steam burn comes in several forms. There are minor burns that only need self-care, and there are severe burns that result in hospital visits. At Deldar Legal, we represent clients who suffer from both. The severity of a burn doesn’t determine whether we take your case or not. In this article, we look at steam burns from a holistic perspective.
What Is A Steam Burn?
A steam burn occurs when the skin comes into contact with steam. It may not sound dangerous, but sometimes steam can be hotter than boiling water. As the evaporation of boiling water produces steam, it carries strong heat energy. When this energy encounters the skin, it can cause severe damage, sometimes even more than direct flames, due to its latent heat content.
The rest happens after a steam burn dives into the medical side. But before we go there, it’s important to understand the common scenarios where one might encounter this invisible danger:
- Cooking: One of the most common household incidents involving a steam burn is lifting the lid off a pot of boiling water. The steam that escapes can burn the hands or face if one is too close.
- Steam Iron: While using steam irons on clothing, there’s a risk of getting a steam burn if the iron malfunctions or is misused.
- Automotive Injuries: Cars pose a considerable risk for steam exposure. For example, steam burns can occur when opening a radiator cap without allowing the car to cool, releasing a gush of hot steam.
- Industrial Accidents: In industries where steam is used as a power source or in processes, malfunctions or breaches can expose workers to dangerous steam emissions.
- Recreational Incidents: Geysers and hot springs, while beautiful, can be dangerous. If one accidentally steps into a gushing hot spring, the resulting steam burn can be severe.
With these scenarios in mind, it becomes evident that steam burns can be a frequent hazard in our daily lives. Whether it’s at home, during recreational activities, or at work, the risks are ever-present. Thus, knowing how to treat these burns effectively becomes imperative to reduce the extent of the injury and speed up the healing process.
Treating A Steam Burn
Steam burns can be deceptive. While the skin might initially appear reddened or mildly irritated, the underlying damage can be profound. Timely and appropriate treatment ensures a faster healing process and reduces the risk of complications. Whether it’s a minor incident in your kitchen or a more severe industrial accident, knowing how to treat a steam burn can make a significant difference.
Here are five ways you should treat a steam burn to improve recovery outcomes:
1. Cool the Burn: Immediately run cool (not cold) water over the steam burn for about 10 minutes or until the pain subsides, then pat dry gently with a soft cloth.
2. Protect Skin: Cover the burn with a non-stick bandage and keep it clean. If blisters form, do not pop them as they act as a protective layer against infections.
3. Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can be taken to manage pain. It’s essential to follow the recommended dosage.
4. Prevention: Keep the burned area away from extreme temperatures. Also, avoid wearing tight clothing over the burn.
5. Medical Treatment: If the burn is deep, covers a large area, or shows signs of infection like increased redness, swelling, pus, or if the pain worsens, it’s imperative to see a doctor.
Post-injury care is of paramount importance. Not only does it alleviate the immediate discomfort and pain, but it also ensures no lasting damage or complications. However, as you navigate through the recovery process, it’s also essential to understand your rights, especially if the injury was due to someone else’s negligence.
Why Call A Personal Injury Attorney?
While accidents happen, there are instances when a steam burn results from someone else’s negligence or a product malfunction. In such cases, you must consult a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and potentially receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Scenarios requiring legal consultation include:
- Workplace Negligence: If you’ve suffered a steam burn due to inadequate safety measures or equipment malfunctions, your employer might be held responsible.
- Product Liability: If a household product like a steam iron or a pressure cooker malfunctions, causing a steam burn, the manufacturer might be held accountable.
- Premises Liability: If you experience a steam burn in a commercial establishment like a spa, gym, or restaurant because of their negligence, they may be liable.
- Car Manufacturers: If a defect in your car’s radiator or engine causes a steam burn, the car manufacturer or mechanic might be held responsible.
A steam burn may seem harmless, but there’s always more to the story. If negligence is suspected, seeking out a personal injury attorney is an essential step. Steam burns are as accurate and dangerous as any burn. They should never be taken lightly nor should your opportunity to take legal action. Contact Deldar Legal today and call us at (844)335-3271 to schedule a free consultation!
Posted in: Burn Injuries