Hot Liquids Burn Like FireThousands of scald burns occur annually in the U.S., and the two highest risk populations are children under the age of 4 and adults over 65.
Did you know?
- Hot liquids can cause life-threatening burn injuries.
- Scalds are the number one cause of burn injury to children under age 4.
- Coffee, tea, soup and hot tap water can be hot enough to cause a serious burn injury.
- Scald and steam burns are often associated with microwave oven use.
- When hot tap water reaches 147° F, it can cause a third degree burn in just 1 second.
- Hot tap water accounts for 17% of all childhood scald hospitalizations.
- Keep children out of the "traffic path" and check their location before moving any hot liquids in the kitchen.
- Keep pot handles turned toward the back of the stove. Cook on the rear burners when possible.
- Test all heated liquid and food before giving it to a child or placing it within their reach.
- Remove tablecloths when toddlers are present in the home. They tug and pull on everything within reach. Hot liquids can easily be pulled down on them.
- Never hold a child while drinking a hot liquid.
- Use caution when moving heavy pots or hot liquids from the stove.
- Avoid using area rugs in the kitchen, especially near the stove. They can cause falls and scalds.
- Read and follow the directions for the operation of the microwave oven.
- Be careful when removing coverings or lids from microwaved foods. Puncture plastic wrap before heating foods in the microwave.
- Stir foods to distribute the heat. Many microwaves have a tendency to heat from the inside out toward the edge.
- Extreme caution should be exercised when heating baby bottles or baby food. The amount of food/liquid to be heated, the starting temperature of the food/liquid (refrigerator or room temperature), and the specific microwave setting you select will influence the final temperature.
- Follow microwave guidelines on baby formula, baby food jars, plastic bottles and plastic bottle liners.
- Never leave young child unattended in the bath room or tub.
- Use extreme caution if bathing small children in the sink. Many sinks have single lever faucets which are easy for small children to turn on.
- Adjust the thermostat settings on your water heater to produce a temperature of 120°F to 125°F or less.
- Before placing a child into the bath, test the temperature of the water by moving your hand rapidly through the water for several seconds. The temperature should not exceed 100°F. A child's delicate skin will burn more quickly than an adult's skin.
- Consider installing "anti-scald" devices on tub faucets and shower heads to prevent accidental scalds.
Burn Institute, San Diego, CA
Shriners Bum Institute, Cincinnati, OH