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Too Hot to Handle: Prevent Scald Burns with These Cool Tips

Too Hot to Handle: Prevent Scald Burns with These Cool Tips

Scald burns are the most common burn injury among children age 4 and younger. Mortality rates from scalds are highest for children under age 4.

Every day scald burns (caused by hot liquids, steam, or foods) are responsible for 300 children being taken to emergency rooms, according to the State of New Hampshire Department of Safety. They weren't even near a flame.

"Most burn injuries occur in residences," says J. William Degnan, New Hampshire State Fire Marshal. "They are typically related to ordinary activities—bathing, cooking and eating—and often happen to children because of a lapse in adult supervision or a lack of protective measures."

Scald burns are the most common burn injury among children age 4 and younger. Mortality rates from scalds are highest for children under age 4. The American Burn Association recommends the following simple safety tips to decrease the risk to yourself and those you love.

  • Lower the temperature settings on water heaters to 120° F (49°C) or less.
  • Install anti-scald devices on water faucets and showerheads.
  • When filling the bathtub, turn on cold water first. Mix in warmer water carefully.
  • Use knob covers on faucets.

Scalds also occur in the kitchen or dining room. Many of these can be prevented by:

  • Using oven mitts or hot pad when cooking.
  • Turning pot handles inward.
  • Thoroughly stirring all microwaved food.
  • Never heating baby bottles in a microwave.
  • Not using deep fryers around children.

"These suggestions may seem obvious," says Marshal Degnan, "but given the statistics, they can't be repeated too often."

Also, remember to check your smoke alarms: once a month to see that they are working properly; every six months replace the batteries. And FYI: Sprinklers save lives.


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