Scald injuries affect people all ages, though young children and the elderly are most vulnerable. The McKinney Fire Department, in cooperation with the American Burn Association, offers the following tips for scald injury prevention:
- Never carry or hold a child while cooking on the stovetop or while carrying hot food or liquids.
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Children and the elderly are often burned by hot water coming from home faucets.
- Always use the back burner of your stove and turn pot handles away from the edge. Keep hot foods and beverages away from the edge of counters.
- Make a habit of placing matches, gasoline and lighters in a safe place, out of children’s reach. Avoid novelty lighters or lighters that look like toys.
According to the American Burn Association, there are one million burn injuries in the United States annually which result in an estimated 45,000 hospitalizations. Roughly half of these injuries are scalds. Parkland Hospital’s Burn Center in Dallas sees more than 1,000 burn victims and admits more than 600 burn victims each year. The main causes of these burns are related to house fires and the spill of hot food or liquids.
Most burns occur in the home, usually in the kitchen or bathroom. Scalds can be prevented through increased awareness and by making simple changes in behavior and around your home.
Story submitted by Staci Durham