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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Each year more than 200 children under age 4 end up at the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital. Seventy percent of those visits are for injuries caused by scalding.
Bakersfield Fire Department Capt. Trever Martinusen, who is also president of the department's Burn Foundation, talked about the importance of reducing burn injuries.
"We really want to reduce those numbers and it's not just in talking to kids; it's in educating parents," Martinusen said Wednesday on "First Look with Scott Cox."
So often parents multitask. If they drink a hot cup of coffee while holding their baby, one quick movement can spill that coffee and burn more than 45 percent of their baby's body.
Battalion Chief Anthony Galagaza said hot liquids burn like fire -- and the pain and damage is devastating.
Galagaza and Martinusen agreed burn calls are the most brutal.
"It's preventable and it's so important that parents and everyone just realizes that tragedies like this don't have to happen," Martinusen said.
To spread awareness, the fire department is putting together a public service announcement that is slated to begin airing on television Nov. 18.
Martinusen said he hopes the message reaches not only Kern County, but also the entire state and possibly the nation.
"These accidents change kids forever and it's our job to spread awareness," he said.