burns are a hot topic this week - burn awareness is February 2-8
While our winter weather temperatures may be pretty mild for this time of year, there are other temperatures around us that are a cause for concern. These temperatures come from items in our homes, especially in our bathrooms and our kitchens. From the many heated items in these areas of our homes, it’s important that we take caution, especially with our children, in order to prevent scalds and burns.
As part of burn awareness week, the American Burn Association and Dayton Children’s Hospital want to alert you to the danger of heated items in the home. Data from the Dayton Children’s burn program highlight the highest risk areas for burns in children. More than half happened in the kitchen, while 11 percent happened in the bathroom. The average burn patient who comes to Dayton Children’s is 5 years old.
“We continue to see a large number of scald burns from hot noodles, such as Ramen noodles.” says Linda Hollen, FNP-C, burn clinic advanced practice nurse at Dayton Children’s Hospital. “Many times children are handling these items in Styrofoam cups and hot water or liquid may spill onto their hands or laps, leading to severe burns.” Macaroni and cheese, rice and hot beverages like hot chocolate are also common culprits of scalds in the kitchen.
In the bathroom, running bath water at too high of a temperature can lead to severe scalds. Parents also need to be mindful of cords to straightening or curling irons that a little one can easily grab and pull onto them.
“Children's skin is thinner than adults and therefore at a greater risk of deeper burns,” says Dr. Arturo Aranda, chief of pediatric surgery at Dayton Children’s Hospital. “Immediate and specialized care is very important.”
Taking the correct precautions can help prevent the risk of scald burns in these danger zones. Parents should set their water heater temperature to no higher than 120 degrees, or just below the medium setting. Never put a child in water that you have not tested the temperature of first. Finally, have your child sit at the opposite end of the tub from the faucet.
Teaching your older children how to cook properly is a great way to prevent hazards in the kitchen. Remember that your kids learn from your actions, so lead by example. Always use oven mitts and pot holders to remove items from the oven or stove. Be careful when removing food from the microwave and always let it cool before doing so. Lastly, never let young children use the microwave without supervision.