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!