Dr. Lucy Wibbenmeyer, clinical associate professor of surgery at the University of Iowa, was recently awarded the “Research Award” from the Injury Free Coalition for Kids. Her study, “A Multi-Center Study of Preventable Contact Burns from Glass Fronted Gas Fireplaces”, was supported by a grant from the University of Iowa’s Injury Prevention Research Center.
Glass fronted fire places (GFGF) are common household appliances often placed on ground level and readily accessible to inquisitive children. Unfortunately, the exterior front glass can reach temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Although this temperature is sufficient to cause third degree burns instantaneously, there are no enforced standardized safety features currently in place.
Dr. Wibbenmeyer’s multi-center study identified that these injuries are more common than previously known, and she has worked with partner Burn Centers to initiate policy action to develop heat standards and an educational campaign to reduce these burns.