How Serious are Fireplace Burns?
If your child has suffered a severe burn from contacting a fireplace, I'm sure you have many unanswered questions. I'd like to help answer them. My name is Ed Smith and I'm a Sacramento Fireplace Burn Injury Attorney. If you need help, call me at 916-931-6400, for your free consultation.
Permanent disability often results from skin contracture leading to a loss in the functional range of hand movement.
You’d think the dangers to children of glass on a fireplace would be obvious to the companies who sell fireplaces but they are not.
Fireplace manufacturers keep making these products despite the known dangers. The commercial sellers of these fireplaces should realize that toddlers are especially vulnerable. As you can imagine children, and especially toddlers, are drawn to the flicker and color of fire.
Any parent knows that children and toddlers are drawn to, and unaware of the danger fire presents. Many Sacramento fireplace burn victims are less than two years old and just learning to walk. They are unsure and unsteady on their feet, and as a result, very serious injuries occur from falling against the red hot glass that’s attracting them.
Toddlers are also curious about fire and drawn to the doors enclosing the object of their curiosity. Their “touchy-feely” instincts lead them to place their little hands on the hot glass.
Parents with small children are recommended to buy homes with safer fireplaces or to replace a glass door fireplace with doors made out of tempered glass. These tempered glass doors do not store heat as effectively are much safer for children.
If you own a fireplace with non-tempered glass doors, consider waiting until the kids have gone to bed before turning the fireplace on. Also, consider putting a full protective screen around the fireplace in order to prevent children from being able to reach the glass doors.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which has jurisdiction over many types of consumer products, hundreds of children under the age of five suffer debilitating gas fireplace burns each year. Treatment of severe second, third, and fourth-degree burns is time-intensive, costly, painful, and may result in long term hand dysfunction, impairment, and disability.
Severe third-degree burns require hospitalization and surgery. Severe third-degree burns may require split thickness and/or full-thickness skin grafts and pancake splitting. Heat contact burns, especially those from fireplace glass doors are costly, painful and often require long term care.