The smell of cookies baking in the oven or tasty sauces simmering on the stovetop is hard to resist for adults and children alike. However, before you dip your finger into the pot to taste that delicious soup, know that scalds from cooking liquids, grease, and food, as well as tap water and steam were responsible for 46 percent of all burns in 2012. Of these, 53 percent of the victims were children under five and most of these burns occurred in the home – usually in the kitchen or bathroom.
Scalds are the most common burn injury among young children and one of the leading causes of accidental death in the home for children under age four. U.S. hospitals treat an estimated 110,000 people under 19 for scalds every year.
While thousands of scald burns occur annually, increased awareness of the dangers can prevent injuries. To help people be mindful of scald burns, the American Burn Association has declared the first week of February National Burn Awareness Week.
Following a few simple precautions will help keep you and your little chef safe from potential burns:
- Cool a burn under cold running water for 10-15 minutes and call 9-1-1 for serious burns.
- Always supervise children in the kitchen and dining areas.
- Create a “No Child Zone” while preparing and serving hot foods and beverages.
- Don’t carry or hold a child while cooking on the stove. Instead, place the child into a high chair or other safe area while cooking.
- Children love to reach, so to prevent hot food or liquid spills, simply use the back burner of your stove and turn pot handles away from its edge; also, keep hot foods away from the edge of your counters.
- Keep clothing from coming in contact with flames or heating elements.
- A small adjustment to your water heater can give you one less thing to worry about. To prevent accidental scalding, set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or the manufacturer’s recommended setting.
- Make a habit of placing matches, gasoline, and lighters in a safe place out of children’s reach and avoid novelty lighters as they may look like toys in a child’s eyes.
- When filling the bathtub turn on cold water first then mix in warmer water carefully.
In addition to these tips, the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services (DFS) offers a pamphlet on general burn safety, as well as information on creating and practicing home fire drills, smoke alarm safety, and cooking fires.
National Burn Awareness Week is the perfect time to share this information, develop a home fire drill, check your smoke alarms, and to make your kitchen safe for your little chef in training.
Celebrate Independence Day in Massachusetts posted on Jun 30
As the state where the Boston Tea Party, Battle of Bunker Hill, and first shots of the American Revolution occurred, Massachusetts is a special place to celebrate the 4th of July. Whether you’re looking for a free event for the family or a way to …Continue Reading Celebrate Independence Day in Massachusetts
Clean Beaches Week: 6 Ways to Protect the Coast posted on Jun 26
Did you know that the Massachusetts coastline is expansive enough to cover the distance from Boston to Miami on Interstate 95? Learn how you can help preserve over 1,500 miles of the Commonwealth’s coast during Clean Beaches Week, July 1–7. Read these useful tips from …Continue Reading Clean Beaches Week: 6 Ways to Protect the Coast
The Importance of Protecting Your Home and Family Against Ticks and Mosquitoes posted on Jun 24
No one wants to spend their summer worrying about ticks and mosquitoes. Although it’s difficult to escape these pests altogether, you can prevent them from infesting your property and minimize itchy bug bites on you and your family. The Department of Public Health (DPH) and …Continue Reading The Importance of Protecting Your Home and Family Against Ticks and Mosquitoes