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Preventing Scald Burns at Home

The Burn Foundation reports that more than 500,000 scald burns occur annually in the United States, primarily affecting individuals under the age of 5 and over the age of 65. Scald burns occur when hot liquid comes in contact with the skin, often causing widespread blistering and severe burns with minimal exposure. Because liquids can cover large surfaces of the skin when spilled, it is essential to handle all hot liquids with care, whether you are in the kitchen, the bathroom, or outdoors. Fortunately, most scald burns are preventable with the right precautions, which you can learn more about below.

Lower the Water Heater Temperature
A large number of scald burns occur with water right out of the tap. Hot water can cause third degree burns in as little as one second when it reaches temperatures of about 156 degrees Fahrenheit, which is well below boiling. To be sure that your hot water is safe directly from the tap, lower your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees or less. You’ll also want to make a habit of checking the temperature of water in the shower or bathtub before young children get in.

Never Leave Pots Unattended in the Kitchen
The kitchen can be a dangerous place, especially for curious children or older adults with limited mobility. In order to reduce scald burn hazards, be sure that pots on the stove never have handles facing outward, where they might easily be knocked over or pulled down. You’ll also want to always monitor liquids on the stove to be sure that pots don’t boil over.

Keep Track of Power Cords
If you have appliances such as deep fryers, slow cookers, or electric kettles plugged in, you should keep the cord close to the appliance and limit the distance between the appliance and the electrical outlet. Never allow a power cord to cross an area where someone may run into it or accidentally knock it down. You might also look for appliances with quick-release power cords, which will keep the whole appliance from toppling over if the cord is disturbed.

If you do suffer from burn accidents at home, you can count on the Burn Clinic at Kendall Regional Medical Center to provide complete care. From emergency care to long-term rehabilitation, our burn care services in Miami can ensure a full recovery and reconstruction. To learn more, call (305) 223-3000 and speak with one of our nurses.

Categories: Burns