Health + Safety
National Burn Awareness Week Reminds Parents to Keep Kids Safe
Each year465 children ages 14 and under die due to unintentional fire or burn related injuries, with children ages 3 and younger at the greatest risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Illinois and North Carolina are in the top five for having the most fire and burn related deaths in children ages 14 and under, according to the CDC’s latest data in 2007.
Safe Kids USA reminds parents that February 6 – 12 is the American Burn Association’s National Burn Awareness Week and to take a few simple precautions to ensure their child’s safety.
A 2009 report from the American Burn Association indicates that the most common cause of hospitalizations to children under 5 years of age is scald burns caused from hot liquids. Hot tap water accounts for nearly 1 in 4 of all scald burns among children and is associated with more deaths and hospitalizations than any other hot liquid burns.
“A burn is one of the most painful injuries a child can suffer,” said Safe Kids USA’s President Meri-K Appy. “Because young children have thinner skin than adults, their skin burns more deeply and at lower temperatures — and young children often cannot react quickly enough to escape harm. A little planning and a few simple precautions can prevent devastating injuries and even save a child’s life. ”
According to a study in Pediatrics, of the non-tap water scalds, 90.4 percent were related to hot cooking or drinking liquids. Major causes of injury to children ages 18 months to 4 years were from hot microwave food or from when an older child, 7 to 14 years of age, was cooking or carrying the scalding substance or supervising the younger child.
“Parents should set their water heater thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius) or if you are unable to control the temperature that comes out of your faucet, install water faucets and shower heads that can shut off the flow of water when it gets too hot,” said Appy.
Safe Kids USA reminds parents of these simple safety measures to use in the kitchen and bathroom to prevent burn injuries to their children.
- Keep children at least 3 feet from hot appliances, pots, pans, or food.
- Use spill-resistant mugs when drinking hot liquids around children.
- Avoid using tablecloths or anything a child can pull and cause hot food to spill.
- When cooking, use back burners, and turn pot handles towards the back of the stove.
- Always tuck appliance cords where children cannot reach them.
- Never hold a child when cooking something hot.
- Stir all food and drink before serving children to make sure it is cool enough to eat and drink.
- Closely supervise children when they are in or near the kitchen.
- Always test the bath water with your hand before bathing children.
- When children are in or near the bath, watch them closely, and check the water temperature frequently.
- If you are unable to control the temperature that comes out of your faucet, install special water faucets or shower heads that can shut off the flow of water when it gets too hot.