Protecting Children From Burns

Burns happen to hundreds of people every day. Whether it happen from car accidents, house fires, or simply accidents from hot objects around the home, burns can be terribly uncomfortable and leave lasting scars. Unfortunately, many of the victims of burns are children.

Thousands of children are killed or injured each year in house fires alone – with a good portion of them being under the age of five. Children this young are also at the highest risk of dying as a result of a burn injury. Often, this is because they do not yet have the ability or the knowledge in how to escape a high risk burn situation like a house fire. If they are involved, their young immune systems also can have a harder time tolerating the stress of recovery. This makes children under the age of five twice as likely to die in a fire than adults.

However, house fires are not the only risk of burn injuries to children. Many children also receive burns due to scald injuries – the majority of which happen to children under the age of three and that could have been prevented. Other injuries have occurred from children playing with matches or lighters, with children as young as a year and half accidentally setting fire to themselves or their environment.

While so many burn injuries to children happen around the home, that does not mean that they cannot be prevented. There are several things that you can do to help protect your children from burn injuries. Some tips include:
Testing bath water before bathing to make sure that it is no warmer than 120 F
Turn pot handles inward on the stove.
Keep appliance cords tied away out of reach.
Avoid leaving hot foods and liquids within reach of toddlers and young children.
Keep children at a safe distance while cooking by using playpens, cribs, or safety gates.
Keep hot foods out of reach of toddlers at the table, and do not allow young children to serve themselves.
Make sure that the hot and cold valves on all faucets are clearly labeled, and turn down the hot water temperature in the bathroom to 120 F.
Keep lamps and other electrical appliances, including space heaters, out of reach of the crib
Use only cool mist vaporizes in a child’s room.
Store all fire starting materials, like matches and lighters, well out of reach of children and instruct older children that they are not toys and if found should be brought to an adult immediately.
If you have older children, teach them stop/drop/roll technique for putting out fires on their body, and come up with a safety plan on how to escape the home safely in the event of a fire
Make sure that all electrical outlets have plug protectors and all smoke alarms are checked regularly to make sure that they are working properly.
When it comes to children and burn protection, you can never be too safe. Most burns to children can be prevented with simple precautions and care.