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Burn facts and safety tips

by Arrive Alive, NGO
Baby Yum Yum - burn facts and safety tips
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By Arrive Alive.

Since burns are recognised as one of the most painful and devastating injuries a person can sustain and survive, our second article for Burn Awareness Month aims to arm you with the tools to keep your children safe from this devastating injury.

Did you know?

  • A scald is a burn from hot liquid or steam.
  • Every day, 352 children ages 19 and under are injured as a result of a fire or burn-related cause.
  • Among children under five years of age, scalds or contact burns are responsible for 90% of burn injuries.
  • Children have thinner skin than adults, which can result in a more severe burn.
  • The most common places children experience scalds are in the kitchen or dining rooms and in the bathrooms.
  • The maximum recommended residential water temperature is 120˚F (48˚C).

It is important to remember that children, especially those ages four and under, may not perceive danger, have less control of their environment, may lack the ability to escape a life-threatening burn situation and may not be able to tolerate the physical stress of a burn injury.

“Never put anything other than water or specific burn dressings onto burns.”

Top tips to keep your kids safe around the house

Kitchen and hot food:

  • Keep children at least three feet 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 towards 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.
  • Supervise children closely when they are in or near the kitchen.


  • 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 that comes out of your faucet, install special tub spouts or shower heads that can shut off the flow of water when it gets too hot.

How to respond to a burn injury

  • Cool burns under RUNNING water for 10 minutes.
  • Never put anything other than water or specific burn dressings onto burns.
  • Never use any oil-based ointment on burns (and definitely no butter!).
  • Always test the heat of bath water before your child climbs in.
  • Educate children on the importance of fire safety.
  • Never leave open flames or heating equipment unattended for even a short period of time.
  • Do not burst blisters formed by scalds or burns.
  • Always wear sunscreen on exposed skin when outdoors, even in winter.
  • Keep Burnshield in your home for treatment of minor burns and scalds.
  • Remove clothing and accessories that may retain heat on burns.

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