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news News Friday, December 21, 2018 Friday, December 21, 2018 10:39 AM - Friday, December 21, 2018 10:39 AM

Be burn aware – Alyssa’s story

Be burn aware – Alyssa’s story

Alyssa is a happy and outgoing 12-year-old in the seventh grade. She likes to draw, solve the Rubik's Cube and play volleyball. She also serves on her junior high student council.

When Alyssa was 10, she convinced her mom that she was able to stay home alone while she attended a class nearby. All was fine until Alyssa decided against having her usual toast for breakfast, opting instead for a bowl of noodles. Alyssa recalls, “Our microwave is so, so high up. I do not know why I thought I could do that. But I attempted to cook ramen noodles, and as I was pulling it out, the heat scared me and I dropped it. I jerked back, but it still hit my arm. I think I just screamed after that.”

After seeking help from a neighbor, Alyssa was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, followed closely by her mother. After seeing her burn injury and where it was located on her arm, her caregivers at the hospital decided that Shriners Hospitals for Children — Galveston would provide her with the specialty burn care needed to maintain full mobility of her wrist, prevent infection and minimize any scarring.

Because she lived close to the hospital, Alyssa had surgery to cover her wounds and was able to go back home the same day. She returned for some follow-up treatments, and the scars from her burn are virtually undetectable today.

Alyssa’s story is not uncommon. According to the American Burn Association, scalds are responsible for 34 percent of all burn injury patients admitted to U.S. burn centers, and 75 percent of all burn injuries in young children – making it the No. 1 cause of children’s burns.

While Alyssa’s outcome was so successful because of the treatment she received at the Galveston Shriners Hospital, her tale is one of great caution. By sharing her story, Alyssa hopes she may spare another child from making the same mistake she did. If she could do it over, she would have thought twice about using a microwave that was out of reach. Today, she is a firm believer in using protective hand covers to remove hot dishes from a microwave or conventional oven. Better yet, she simply encourages kids to ask for help with cooking.