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!
Fire Safety Week 2012
Posted by Marianne Frederick
Tips to remember, in case of fire in the home:
- Stay low and GO! Stay below the smoke and get out as soon as possible.
- Get out and stay out–once you leave the home, do NOT go back in until after the fire is out and the fire department tells you it is safe to return.
- If clothes catch fire, immediately STOP, DROP and ROLL until the flames are out.
- If there is a fire in your home, test the door with the back of your hand for heat before you open it. If the door or door handle is hot, choose another exit–one with less smoke and less heat if possible.
Here are some well-worn cautions to prevent fires in the home, which always bear repeating:
- Stay in the kitchen when you cook.
- Check your clothes dryer for lint build-up and remove it frequently.
- If you use candles at all, do not leave candles in rooms unattended.
- Do not leave a house with candles, woodstoves or a fireplace burning.
- If you smoke, don’t smoke cigarettes in the house–and please, don’t smoke in bed.
- Don’t keep matches, cigarette or fire lighters anywhere young children can get to them.
- Keep curtains, table cloths, bed clothes, rugs and other fabrics and decorations away from fireplaces, candles, space heaters, stoves, lamp and other electrical cords.
- Check your appliance, lamp and electrical cords to make sure none are frayed, and if they are frayed, have them repaired or ditch the appliance. Do not overload electrical sockets.
- Have a working fire extinguisher in your home (in both the garage and kitchen) and know how to use it.
The fire department can also check for fire hazards in your home that you may not know you have, and let you know if there’s anything you should do right now, such as getting rid of old newspapers, magazines, and trash, old paint or automobile cleaning rags; eliminating sawdust in a home work shop–sawdust can spontaneously combust with a minimal amount of heat; getting rid of old paint cans and flammables no longer in use or making sure any type of household fuels are stored properly.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace and chimney, make sure these are clean and ready for the season’s use, or if you have a wood stove or space heater that it is in good condition and safe to use. Know how to dispose of left-over fire ashes–never place hot ashes in a plastic bag. Your local fire department often will check your chimney and provide helpful information as a community service.
People never think a fire emergency will happen to them…know what to do in case it does!