NORFOLK - Today's CHKD parenting segment is about scald burns, an all-too-common problem for children. Most of these burns are preventable accidents that happen in the kitchen or bathroom.
Here's information on the burns, how you can prevent them and treat them if your child is hurt.
Tip 1: The kitchen can be especially dangerous
Microwave soups have become a huge culprit in childhood burns. Because microwaves are on counter tops, elementary school children can easily tip piping hot liquids onto themselves. Make your microwave - and stove - off limit to children until they are taller than the counter. Younger children are not ready to hold, carry and transfer hot foods and liquids without risking dangerous spills.
Overheated baby bottles pose another significant microwave risk. Never use the microwave to heat baby bottles. Because microwaves heat from the core out, bottles will frequently have scalding liquid internally but may not feel overly hot to the touch.
When you carry hot food, you need to watch out for little ones. A hot cup of coffee can cause a burn in five seconds. A crawling baby and even one sitting right on your lap can reach out and spill hot liquid burning themselves.
Crock Pots are also danger zones. Make sure the cord is out of the reach of small hands. Children have been known to pull the cord resulting in the hot contents being spilled on them.
When draining boiling pots, make sure your child isn't near. Too many parents have tripped over crawling babies and spilled hot liquid on them.
Tip 2: Bathroom injuries - bathwater and curling irons
Bathtub scald burns account for about 50% of childhood burn injuries and can be easily prevented. Always set your water heater to 120 degrees or below. At 130 degrees, water can cause a serious burn in just 30 seconds. At 140 degrees, in 5 seconds.
To be safe, check the water temperature before you put your children in the tub and never let a child fill the bathtub themselves.
Every year at CHKD we see a large number of minor burns and several severe burns caused by hairstyling tools. Curling irons and clothing irons reach very high temperatures which can cause deep burns in just seconds.
Keep all irons and hot hair styling tools on high shelves out of the reach of small children.
Tip 3: Put cold water, not butter, on burns
Immediately run the burned area under cool water for 15 minutes
Do not apply any ointments or butter.
Leave any blisters intact, never break them open
Seek the care of a medical professional. Burns have a high rate of infection and should be treated by your physician.