Burn Prevention

Scald burns are the most common types of burns among young children, while older children tend to sustain flame burns. However, children can also get burned by electricity, chemicals and hot liquids and foods spilled in the kitchen.

Burns are among the most painful and devastating injuries to children. The skin of young children is thinner than adults’ is, which means it burns deeper and at a lower temperature. In fact, it takes three seconds of exposure to hot tap water at 140 degrees Fahrenheit to sustain a third-degree burn in a young child, according to data from Safe Kids Worldwide. Third-degree burns require hospitalization and skin grafts.

Burn prevention tips

The following are some burn prevention tips you can take to help protect your children from burns:

  • Set your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Anti-scald devices are now available for water faucets and shower heads to prevent scalding.
  • Check the water temperature with your elbow, wrist or bath thermometer before bathing your child.
  • Use the back burners on stove, away from the reach of children. Turn pot handles towards the back of the stove.
  • When cooking, put your toddler in a safe area, such as a high chair or play pen.
  • Never leave a child alone in a kitchen.
  • Never carry a child while carrying a hot drink or hot food.
  • Do not use tablecloths or placemats around young children (they can pull on them and spill hot food or drinks).
  • Test microwaved foods and drinks before giving them to a young child. Avoid heating baby bottles in the microwave, as the heat may be unevenly distributed.
  • Open microwaved containers away from you and your child, as the steam can scald the skin.
  • Keep irons, curling irons and other heat appliances and their cords out of a child's reach.
  • Do not allow children to handle fireworks.
  • Keep children away from kerosene lamps, supplemental heaters and outdoor grills when in use.

Learn more fire safety tips »