December 11, 2001
During Burn Awareness Week, Shriners
Focuses Attention On Scald Burns
- During Burn Awareness Week 2002, February 3-9, the Shriners -- members of
the fraternal organization that operates 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children
throughout North America -- want people to take precautions against children
receiving scald burns in the home.
"Every single scald burn injury is preventable," said Kenneth W. Smith,
President and CEO of the Shrine of North America. "The most effective way to
prevent scald burns in the kitchen or bathroom is through adequate and
Shriners Hospitals offer the following facts about scald burns and tips to
help keep children safe in the home (Tips can also be found at http://www.shrinershq.org)/
* Children under 5 are at the highest risk for burns caused by hot fluids.
* Most scald burns happen in the kitchen when fluids spill from the stove or
microwave, as well as on or around the kitchen table, counters and sink.
Some ways to keep hot fluids away from children are: appropriate
supervision, keep children away from "risk areas," avoid the use of
tablecloths and place mats, put hot items on the table only when adults are
ready to be seated, test all foods before feeding a baby, cook on the rear
of the stove.
* The bathroom is the second highest risk area for scald burn injuries in
the home, which are directly related to the temperature of the water
delivered from the water heater.
* Water heater thermostats should be set at a maximum of 120 degrees F. If
it is not possible to reduce the water heater temperature, use of a
thermostatically controlled valve/faucet should be considered.
* The best way to test bath water is to submerge the hand, spread the
fingers and move the hand vigorously in the water. If the water feels
uncomfortable to the hand, it is too hot for a child.
* Generally, babies should not be bathed in water above 100 degrees F and
young children in water above 104 degrees F. Tepid water is at a temperature
low enough that the water feels wet, not cold or hot. This is the best
temperature to bathe babies.
* The skin of young children is thinner than that of adults and thus there
is an increased burn risk potential. When the temperature of liquid reaches
about 160 degrees F, a child may be burned instantly and no one can respond
rapidly enough to avoid injury.
Known as the experts in pediatric burn care, Shriners Hospitals operate four
burn hospitals in Galveston, Cincinnati, Boston and Sacramento. Through
intensive research and state-of-the-art clinical care, a burned child's
chance of survival has more than doubled since the Shriners first opened the
burn hospitals in the mid-1960s. Much of today's research now focuses on
improving the quality of life for burn survivors.