Burn Awareness

Most Common Burn Causes

Fire is just one cause of burn injuries to children. Scalding hot water, hot foods and beverages, heating appliances and hot pots and pans, fireworks, and electrical currents and chemicals can all be the cause of serious burns to children.

Of the total child burn injuries reported to the Kansas Burn Injury Reporting System since 2010, 17% have been caused by touching hot metal objects such as furnace registers and grills. The rest of the top 5 causes of child burns are hot liquids (16%), fireworks (14%), fires (13%) and stove/oven (10%).

While fewer children are injured in bathtubs from hot water, those injuries pose the highest danger, with higher than normal percentages of burned skin and more days in the hospital than any other cause.

Tips to Prevent Scalds

Safe Kids Kansas and the Office of the State Fire Marshal recommend the following 4 tips to prevent scalds:

  • Adjust your water heater. With everything going on, we know the water heater is the last thing on your mind. But a small adjustment 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.
  • Don’t carry or hold a child while cooking. Instead, move a high chair in the kitchen within reach or sight before you start. Then talk to your children so they know what’s going on. It’s a great way to spend time together.
  • Use the back burners. Kids love to reach, so to prevent hot food or liquid spills in the kitchen, simply use the back burner of your stove and turn pot handles away from the stove edge. Keep hot foods away from the edge of your counters.
  • Place matches, gasoline and lighters in a safe place, out of children’s reach. Avoid novelty lighters or lighters that look like toys.

Check out some info-graphics to learn more about preventing burns and scalds.

What to Do if a Child is Burned

If a child is burned, the burned area should be placed in, or flushed with, cool water. Keep the burned area in the cool water for 10 to 15 minutes. Never use ice, ointments or butter. If the burn is severe, immediately seek emergency assistance.