This week is National Burn Awareness Week, and various entities around the country are doing their part to spread the word about taking the proper precautions. The main topic of interest this year seems to be the prevention of scalds, which can result from any number of safety shortfalls around the kitchen and the home. So that your family might be protected, please consider the tips on hand from a wide-ranging resource put together by the American Burn Association.
The first set of tips focus on protecting your family from the threat of a food or beverage-related burn injury. First, if your children are going to be in the kitchen, make sure that they’re not going to be too close to cooking areas. If you’re preparing food and you’re worried about them being underfoot, make sure there is an enclosed play area or high chair available and positioned somewhere you can keep an eye on them even as you cook.
As your children age, they’re going to grow more curious about their environment, which means they could reach for just about anything in their vicinity. That’s why parents would be wise to cook on the back burners of a stove rather than the front ones, where pots and pans could be easily reached and pulled away. This is also a good reason to turn handles inward at all times, as those handles can make an alluring grappling point for children in the midst of play.
When it comes to hot liquids, make sure you’re not placing a cup anywhere that a child could easily reach it and knock it over. That means low surfaces are a no-go. You should avoid carrying coffee or similar items if you’re carrying a child or walking near him or her, as any spill could prove dangerous.
People should also understand the scald potential posed by items that are pulled out of the microwave. Children should not be allowed to use the microwave until they’re old enough to handle the responsibility.
One big danger posed by the microwave is the buildup of steam. Anything with a cover that doesn’t allow steam to escape can rapidly escalate in temperature, which is why you typically see labels telling users to wait a couple minutes prior to opening the microwave door. Caution should be used with popcorn bags, frozen dinners, and other items.
Finally, be careful when preparing a bath for your children. Make sure the water is at a comfortable temperature. At no point should you leave their side. An unsupervised child is at risk for both drowning and scalds if he or she turns on the hot water faucet.