In conjunction with National Burn Awareness Week, Feb. 5-11, the Firefighters Burn Institute in Sacramento urges people to take measures to prevent "scald" burns.
Scald burns are the leading cause of death in the home among children age 4 and younger, and account for 40 percent of the burn injuries for children up to age 14, according to a news release.
Such burns, caused by hot liquids or steam, are more often the cause of burn-related injuries among young children than contact burns, which are caused by direct contact with fire and are more prevalent among older children, officials said. The majority of scald burns suffered by children result from hot foods and liquids spilled in the kitchen or other areas where food is prepared and served.
Safe Kids USA offers several tips for protecting children from burns.
In the Kitchen:
Keep children at least 3 feet away from hot appliances, pots, pans or food.
Use spill-resistant mugs when drinking hot liquids around children.
Avoid using tablecloths or anything a child can pull on and cause hot food to spill.
When cooking, use back burners and keep pot handles turned toward the back of the stove.
Always tuck cords from appliances where children cannot reach them.
Never hold a child when cooking something hot.
Test and stir all food before serving children to make sure it is cool enough to eat.
Closely supervise children when they are in or near the kitchen.
In the bathroom
Always test the bath water with your hand before bathing children
When children are in or near the bath, watch them closely, checking the water temperature frequently.
If you are unable to control the temperature of the water than comes out of the faucet, install special tub spouts or shower heads that can shut off the flow of water when it gets too hot. An anti-scald device is a heat- sensitive device that stops the flow of water when it reaches a pre-set temperature. The recommended comfortable temperature for bathing a young child is no more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Some anti-scald devices, available at home-improvement stores, can be screwed onto the fixture without professional help, and some faucets and shower heads include this feature.