In medicine, a burn is a type of injury to the skin caused by heat, cold, electricity, chemicals, or radiation.
Burns are most commonly caused by exposure to flames, hot objects, hot liquids (scalds), or radiation (eg sunburn). Electrical burns are less common, but are potentially more serious, as the depth of the burn is usually greater than is apparent, and cardiac arrhythmias may occur.
It is estimated that around 112,000 people visit Accident and Emergency departments each year as a result of burns or scalds and that at least a further 250,000 people visit GP surgeries for burns and scald injuries.
Around 7,800 people each year are admitted to hospital or specialist burns units with burns and scalds. Over 200 people die as a result of these injuries each year.
Children under 5 years old account for nearly 45% of all severe burns and scalds. About 50% of these accidents happen in the kitchen.
Cups of hot drinks are involved in about 1,265 severe burns a year (requiring admission to hospital), of which 1,100 occur with children less than 5 years of age. Most involve the child reaching up and pulling a mug or cup of hot drink on to himself or herself.
Baths are involved in over 570 severe burns a year. Most involve an unsupervised child falling or climbing into a bath of very hot water.
Other common causes of severe burns include kettles, teapots and coffee-pots, jugs of hot water, saucepans, irons, cookers, fires and heaters, and chip pans and deep fat fryers.
If you or someone you know have been injured as a result of a burn injury, consideration should be given as to whether there is a potential claim for compensation and it may be prudent to seek advise from a specialist solicitor on a true no win, no fee * basis. There is very likely to be an insurer responsible to pay such compensation, whether it is an accident at work (employers liability insurance), at some other person or bodies locations (public liability insurance) or at home (household insurance).