National Burn Awareness Week is February 5 - 11, and Safe Kids Kansas and the Office of the State Fire Marshal are reminding parents and caregivers it doesn’t take a fire to burn a child. In fact the most common type of burn to children is a scald burn. Scald burns are caused by hot liquids and steam and can be just as severe and devastating.
To help reduce these preventable injuries, a new education campaign is being launched by the National Scald Prevention Campaign, and promoted by Safe Kids Kansas and the Office of the State Fire Marshal. FlashSplash focuses on ways to avoid liquid and steam burn accidents. “It can happen in a flash with a splash,” is the theme of the campaign designed to remind parents and caregivers that it only takes one quick mistake to have long-term injuries. Information, safety checklists and tools are available on the website www.flashsplash.org.
An overwhelming majority (84%) of scald burns occur in the home. In children less than five years of age, the in-home injury rate increases to 95%, according to the American Burn Association’s 2014 National Burn Repository. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates over 300 children are seen in emergency rooms and two children die from burn injuries every day.
“Liquid and steam are just as dangerous as fire,” said Cherie Sage, Safe Kids Kansas. “It only takes two seconds of exposure to 148°F/64°C water to cause a burn serious enough to require surgery. Every minute, someone in the United States sustains a burn injury severe enough to require treatment.”
Here are some tips to prevent severe scald burns in your home:
- Set your water heater at 120 degrees F/48 degrees C or just below the medium setting.
- Use a thermometer to test the water coming out of your bath water tap.
- Run your hand through bath water to test for hot spots.
- Use back burners and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so children cannot pull them down.
- Use oven mitts when cooking or handling hot food and drinks.
- Stir and test food cooked in the microwave before serving. Open heated containers away from you from back to front.
- Keep children away from the stove when cooking by using a safety gate for younger children and marking with tape a 3-foot “no-kid zone” for older children.
- Keep hot drinks away from the edge of tables and counters and avoid using tablecloths and placemats.
- Use a “travel mug” with a tight-fitting lid for all hot drinks.
- Never hold or carry a child while you have a hot drink in your hand.
- Actively supervise children.
For more safety tips to prevent fires and burns, visit www.safekids.org or www.firemarshal.ks.gov.
About Safe Kids Kansas
Safe Kids Kansas works to prevent childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children. Safe Kids Kansas is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing injuries in children. Coalition members include over 70 statewide organizations, agencies and businesses and a network of local coalitions across the state. For more information, visit www.safekidskansas.org.
About the Office of the State Fire Marshal
The Office of the State Fire Marshal is dedicated to protecting the lives and property of the citizens of Kansas from the hazards of fire, explosion and hazardous materials. Our aim is to reduce the deaths, injuries, and property losses of Kansans through inspection, enforcement, regulation, investigation, hazardous material incident mitigation, and public education. For more information, visit www.firemarshal.ks.gov.