Safe Kids Huron Valley Reminds Local Parents of Fire and Burn Safety Tips
Howell, Mich. More than 300 children in the U.S. are treated every day in emergency rooms for burn-related injuries and two children die from burns that could have been prevented, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
February 3 – 9 is the American Burn Association’s National Burn Awareness Week, and Safe Kids Huron Valley reminds parents to take a few simple precautions to prevent burn injuries to your children.
Scald burns caused by hot liquids or steam are most prevalent in younger children while fire/flame injuries are more prevalent in older children. Children have thinner skin, and therefore, can get severe scald burns at lower temperatures and in less time than an adult. The most common places children experience scald burns are in the kitchen, dining room, and bathroom.
Hot liquids can cause first, second and third degree burns depending on the temperature and length of exposure. For example, a child can experience a third degree burn within 1 second from hot water at 155 degrees. Hot tap water accounts for nearly one in four of all scald burns among children and is associated with more deaths and hospitalizations than any other hot liquid burns.
“You can greatly reduce the risk of a hot tap water scald injury to your child by lowering the setting on your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius) or by installing anti-scald devices in water faucets and shower heads,” said Amber Kroeker, Safe Kids Huron Valley Coordinator and Injury Prevention Health Educator for the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital. “Also, avoid placing hot foods or liquids near your children, and taste cooked food and heated liquids to make sure they’re not too hot before serving them to your child.”
Here are additional safety measures from Safe Kids Huron Valley to prevent burns to your children.
Prevent fire/flame burns
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and in each bedroom.
- Test alarms once a month and replace the batteries once a year, even if alarms are hardwired.
- Keep matches, gasoline, and lighters locked away and out of children’s reach.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended.
- Create and practice a fire escape plan.
Prevent scald burns
- Establish a “kid-free zone” in the kitchen by keeping children at least 3 feet from cooking and heating appliances, pots, pans and hot food. Never leave the kitchen while you are cooking. If you must leave the room, take your child with you.
- Cook with pots and pans on back burners, and turn pot handles away from the front.
- Keep hot foods and liquids away from table and counter edges.
- Remove tablecloths from tables or anything a child can pull and cause hot food to spill.
- Use spill-resistant mugs when drinking hot liquids around children.
- Never carry or hold a child and hot foods or liquids at the same time.
- Do not allow young children to use the microwave.
- Taste cooked food and heated liquids to make sure they are not too hot for your child.
- Never microwave your baby’s bottle. Drinks heated in a microwave may be much hotter than their containers.
- Heat bottles with warm water, and test them before feeding your baby.
- Set your water heater thermostat at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Always test the bath water with your wrist or elbow before bathing your child.
- When children are in or near the bath, watch them closely, and check the water temperature frequently.
- If you are unable to control the temperature that comes out of your faucet, install anti-scald devices on water faucets and shower heads that can turn off the water if the temperature is too hot.
About Safe Kids Huron Valley
Safe Kids Huron Valley, which includes Livingston and Washtenaw counties, works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children through age 14. Safe Kids Huron Valley is a member of Safe Kids Michigan and Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Huron Valley is proudly led by University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. For more information about Safe Kids, visit: www.safekids.org or www.michigansafekids.org. For more information about Safe Kids Huron Valley, visit us on Facebook.