The threat of a child being scalded by a hot substance should not be underestimated by parents. Research suggests that the most typical reason that children have to seek out hospital treatment for a burn is because they were scalded. Tap water and boiling pots atop a stove are typically to blame, but healthcare professionals are taking note of another hazard that has become increasingly common in nature: soup burns.
The Shriners Hospital for Children Northern California estimates that 8% of kids admitted with a burn were burned by soup, and that number is actually far lower than the Chicago-based Stroger Hospital, which figures that hot soup scaldings account for as much as 40% of burn treatments.
The University of California at Davis School of Medicine’s chief of burn surgery not long ago headed up a research effort that tested out various instant soup cups to determine what would be the most likely to tip over. The study deduced that height is usually to blame for ease of tipping, as the taller the cup, the more likely that even a slight jostling will lead it to tip.
One lawsuit has already been filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by the parents of a scalded child. Doctors say that kids are more at risk of scalding because of their relatively thin skin. Noodles also tend to stick to skin and soup retains heat better than other substances.