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2/5/19blog post

burns are a hot topic this week - burn awareness is February 3-9

The cold temperatures aren’t the only thing you should be cautious of this winter

With the temperatures continuing to drop, parents are focused on keeping their children bundled up this winter. Although this is a main concern this time of year, it’s not the only temperature you should be cautious of with your children.

As part of burn awareness week, the American Burn Association and Dayton Children’s Hospital want to alert you to the danger. 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. “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 have a greater risk of getting deeper and more serious burns because they have thinner layers of skin compared to adults,” says Dr. Sean Barnett, chief of pediatric surgery at Dayton Children’s. “Also, because children are smaller, a greater proportion of their total body surface is susceptible to being burned.”

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.