Protecting Your Child from Burns

Child Burn Hazard

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 300 children and teenagers receive emergency burn treatment each day. You can help reduce your child’s risk of injury from burns by incorporating the following practices into your home:

  • Practice Stove Safety
    The stove and oven are a major source of injury, not only because the appliances themselves are hot, but also because the pans and food may burn or scald. Make sure your children know not to play within a three-foot area of the stove, and consider installing stove and oven locks to protect curious hands. While you are cooking, use the burners toward the back and turn pot handles so they do not overhang the edge of the stove.
     
  • Buy Flame-Resistant Sleepwear
    If a fire breaks out during the night, your children should be able to escape without the risk of their pajamas catching on fire. To this end, many manufacturers offer flame-resistant clothing that is labeled as such. These items are treated with certain chemicals to make them less likely to ignite and burn.
     
  • Keep Water Temperatures Low
    Children are more sensitive to temperature and can be scalded more easily with hot water, so turn your water heater to a low-medium setting with a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Always turn the cold water tap on before the hot one, and test water temperatures with the inside of your wrist or elbow before having your child bathe or wash hands.
     
  • Install and Maintain Smoke Alarms
    Your home should have one smoke alarm on each floor as well as one in each bedroom. Test the alarms every month to ensure that they are working properly, and change the batteries annually.
     
  • Have a Fire Escape Plan
    Gather all the members of your household and come up with a plan for escaping during a fire that includes multiple exit routes from each room and a meeting spot outside that everyone should head to. Practice the plan every six months so children remember what to do during an emergency.

The Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers childhood burn prevention programs for parents. Call (818) 676-4000 to learn how you can attend.

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