Tag Archives: burns and scalds

Burn Awareness Week

Every day throughout the United States, children arrive at emergency rooms for scald burn treatment. The major cause is contact with hot liquids, steam or hot foods. SafeKids USA says “90 percent of non-tap water scalds are caused during cooking or drinking hot liquids.” According to Shriners Hospitals for Children, “approximately 65 percent of children under age 4 hospitalized for burn injuries were scalded by hot liquids and 20 percent of those for contact burns.” www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/en/Education/BurnAwareness/HomeSafety.aspx

The majority of thermal burns to children under 14 years old are caused by contact with room heaters, ovens and ranges, clothing irons, gasoline, fireworks, hair curlers and curling irons. During the past 13 years, an average of 496 children each year died from unintentional fire or burn injury. According to the Shriners’ “Be Burn Aware” 2013 campaign, approximately 66 percent of electrical burn injuries in children ages 12 and younger are associated with household electrical cords and extension cords; and wall electrical outlet burns account for an additional 14 percent of electrical burn injuries.

Here are some tips to help avoid scald injuries to children:

  • Lower water heater temperature to 120˚F (49˚C) or less;
  • When filling a bathtub, run cold water first, then add in warmer water;
  • Before placing a child in a bathtub, check the water temperature by rapidly moving your hand through the water. If the water feels hot to an adult it is too hot for a child.
  • In the bathtub, face your child away from faucets;
  • Use knob covers on faucets; and
  • Always supervise your child closely in the bathtub.

And, to keep kids safe in the kitchen:

  • Always supervise children under age 7 using a microwave;
  • Turn pot handles on the stove inward; use oven mitts and potholders;
  • Make sure that micro waved food is thoroughly stirred before consuming;
  • Do not use deep fryers around children;
  • Do not hold children in your arms while cooking or passing hot food to others;
  • Test your baby’s food by placing one quarter spoonful on the underside of your wrist… if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for baby to safely swallow.

And, in case of a fire or burn emergency, Call 911 Immediately!

How to Prevent Children from Getting Burned

Posted by Marianne Frederick

Did you know that 60 to 75 percent of all burns that happen to children occur before they are five years old? Burns, especially scalds caused by exposure to hot water or other hot liquids, are some of the most common accidents and unintentional injuries that happen to children. Babies and young children are even more susceptible to burns because they are little, usually curious, and have children’s sensitive skin.

Unintentional injuries which usually occur in the home often result in a trip for parents, caregivers and children to the emergency room. Scalds from steam, hot bath water, spilled hot coffee or soup are the most common cause of burns to children. Contact with flames–in a stove, space heater, or fireplace–and or hot surfaces, such as hot pans, curling irons, hair dryers, and clothes irons–are the second leading cause of burns to young ones. Chemical burns involving exposure to chemicals are frequently caused by house-cleaning chemicals kept where children can access them. The culprits are often drain cleaner, bleach and strong bathroom tub and tile cleaners. Chemical burns can also be caused by swallowing tiny batteries, like watch and hearing aid batteries. Electrical burns frequently occur when children put their fingers or an object they are holding into an electrical socket or appliance, or even by biting through electrical cords. Of course, there is always the danger of burning caused by over-exposure to sun. For infant and toddler skin, sunburn is no laughing matter–and sunscreen is a basic requirement!

There are many ways parents and caregivers can help to prevent burns to children at home. Let’s explore some tips:

  • Make sure electrical sockets have socket-covers (and that the socket covers are big enough that children who may remove them cannot choke on them);
  • Anti-scald devices can be purchased and placed on home water faucets by a plumber–also the maximum temperature of water to faucets in homes can usually be adjusted at the water heater (also by a plumber);
  • Always test your child’s bath water by placing a few drops on the inside of your arm–if it’s too hot for you, it’s way too hot for your child;
  • Store all cleaning and other chemicals up high in cabinets with a lock–never under the kitchen sink;
  • If you cook and your child is in the kitchen with you, stay in the kitchen–and place your child in a play area, playpen or child-safe seating away from heat sources;
  • When you cook, place all pot handles to the rear of the stove–making them inaccessible to children’s reach;
  • Do not hold a child in your arms and cook at the stove, or carry or pass hot dishes while holding your child in your lap;
  • Make sure your home lamps, appliances, TVs and electronics are free of any frayed cords;
  • Always check the lint screen on your clothes dryer, remove excess lint–and don’t leave the dryer running when you’re not home to check it;
  • Don’t place fabric, bed clothes, rugs or decorations near space heaters, fire places or other heat sources;
  • Instead of flame burning candles, use battery-powered flameless candles; and never leave home with candles, fireplace, or stove burning;
  • And please make sure you have a working smoke detector in every room!

This is also a reminder, when the time changes soon, it’s a good time to check and change the batteries in your smoke detectors if necessary.

Preventing Child Scald and Burn Injuries (Part 1)

Today’s topic is preventing scald and burn injuries in children.  Most accidents occur in the home, and scalds and burns to children almost always occur in the kitchen or bathroom of the home. For the most part, these are preventable injuries. Burns, especially scalds from hot water and, cooking liquids, are some of the most commonly occurring accidents to children. Babies and young children are most vulnerable because they’re small and have sensitive skin that requires greater protection than adult skin.

While minor burns (“first-degree” burns) can often be safely treated at home, more serious burns (second- and third-degree burns) require immediate medical care. Most parents are aware that the causes of burns range from scalds, to contact with flames or hot objects, chemical burns (from chemical spills of home cleaning items like bleach, drain cleaner, dishwasher detergent, etc.), to electrical burns from hot appliances or frayed electrical cords, to burned skin from over-exposure to sun.

Medical professionals caution parents that all burns need to be treated as soon as possible to lower the temperature of the burned area and minimize damage to the skin and underlying tissues (in the case of severe burns).

Being Safe in the Kitchen
Finding Out About Fireworks Safety
How to Be Safe When You’re in the Sun
Dealing With Burns
Fireworks Safety

Loma Linda Children’s Hospital in Loma Linda, California, advises parents that toddlers are at greatest risk of scalds and burns as they begin to walk, climb, and reach, while children under age 5 are at greatest risk when fire strikes, as they may panic and hide in closets or under beds. Some children are needlessly burned because they think clothes protect them from flames. In children
ages 3 to 8, curiosity about matches and lighters is normal. But, sadly, more than one-third of the burns to these children are the result of playing with matches.

The following simple tips to prevent scalds and burns can make your home safer for you and your children.

To prevent scalds in the kitchen:

  • Keep hot foods and drinks away from the edge of tables and counters. Do not put them on a tablecloth that small hands can tug.
  • If you’re holding something hot, don’t hold your child at the same time.
  • When you cook, keep your child away from the stove.
  • When you cook, turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. If possible, use rear burners.
  • Always watch for dangling appliance cords to fry pans, irons, and other heated appliances (hot plates, crock pots, etc.).
  • When you pass a hot item, food or beverage, to another person, do not pass it over the head of a child.

To prevent scalds in the bathroom:

  • Test the heat of water. Turn on the hot water at the tub faucet. Let it run for 3 to 5 minutes. Measure the temperature with a hot water gauge or mercury thermometer.
  • For safe bathing, set the water heater’s thermostat to low, warm, or 120 degrees F. Wait a day. Test the water again. Repeat if necessary. Your clothes and dishes will get clean at this setting!
  • Install anti-scald devices in shower and bathtub fixtures that stop water flow when the temperature exceeds 120 degrees F.
  • Always check water temperature before placing your child in the tub. A child’s skin burns more easily than an adult’s.  Test the water by placing a few drops on your wrist–if it’s hot for you, it’s too hot for your child.
  • Supervise children when they are in the bathtub. Young children can turn the hot water on by themselves. Older children can accidentally scald a younger child.
  • If you rent, ask your landlord if it’s possible to lower the water temperature or put an anti-scald device in your shower and bathtub fixtures.