Burn Awareness Week and Scalding Injuries

A scald is a burn injury caused by hot liquid, food or steam. Scalds, and burn injuries in general, are among the most painful and long-lasting personal injuries you can suffer. As scald burns make up almost half of all burn injuries, the 2012 edition of the nationwide Burn Awareness Week has decided to focus on scald prevention. These efforts are particularly geared towards people with young children as the most common victims of scald burns are under four years of age. By following a few key safety tips, you can greatly reduce the risk of scalds for you and the young children in your life.

Monitoring your behavior and keeping a watchful eye on your children is the best way to prevent scalding injuries. Parents of young children should change the settings on their water heaters to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Bath water should always be tested before placing a child in the water. Parents should also be aware that young children have skin that is actually thinner than adults, allowing them to be burned more quickly and at lower temperatures than adults. If the water feels very warm or hot to you, it is likely much too hot for a small child.

There are devices designed to turn off showerheads and faucets if water grows too hot. These anti-scald devices can be installed anywhere where young children might access a tap or tub. Kitchens are another danger spot for children. Many scald injuries occur when children tip over pots and pans, grab handles, pull tablecloths or otherwise find a way to pull hot liquids down onto themselves. Parents who are working with hot liquids should not do so while holding their children. Microwaves are particularly dangerous, as liquids can be heated to near boiling temperatures very quickly.

As we mentioned in December, some products such as instant noodle soup cups pose a specific danger of scalding injuries to children. These products should be avoided whenever possible. Manufacturers and parents alike should work to prevent burn injuries in children. Burn Awareness Week is the perfect time to reassess the dangers in your house and take steps to avoid a tragic accident.

Source: Tukwila Reporter, “Information on scald burn injuries | Burn Awareness Week,” 6 February 2012