This week is National Burn Awareness Week, and thus, it’s as good a time as any to warn citizens across California of the dangers posed by seemingly innocuous things within the home. Kids are particularly at risk of sustaining a burn, and if you’re a parent, it’s important to take steps to keep your children free from any hazards. To do so, consider following the advice of the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control.
First, understand how dangerous scalds can be. When it comes to young kids, hot water leads to more burns that any other source. About 25% of all child scalds are caused by hot water, and they also account for more fatalities than any other hot liquid-based burns. The danger is particularly apparent when you consider that the thinness of a child’s skin makes them more susceptible to harm. A third degree burn can result after just five seconds of immersion in a heated liquid.
Thankfully, you can curtail the threat by always being careful around heated liquids. If you’re going to be cooking, make sure to push any pots and pans toward the back of the stovetop if you can. So that a curious child won’t be tempted to reach upward to grab the pan, turn it so that the handle points inward toward the wall. If you remove something from the stove, yet set it on the counter to dry, don’t leave a cloth dangling over the counter. One simple pull could cause the entire enterprise to come tumbling down.
In fact, you might just be better off speaking to your children and telling them to never get within a few feet of the stove. Supervise kids at all times when food is cooking, and if you have a baby, don’t carry him or her if you’re preparing hot dishes. Set the child down first.
Also exercise caution when you get ready to actually serve hot food or drinks. You should taste everything before you serve it to your child so that you know they won’t scald themselves if a spill occurs. If you have a baby bottle you have to warm, go with warm water as opposed to popping the bottle into the microwave. Doing the latter could easily heat the interior contents up to an unreasonable level.
Finally, understand what you must do if all these precautions still can’t prevent a burn from occurring. Place the child’s burned skin beneath cold water and then leave it there for up to 15 minutes. When that’s complete, it’s wise to seek out emergency treatment so that a trained professional can do what’s necessary to take care of the pain and danger.