Make Your Home a Burn-Free Zone

February 08, 2011

Hundreds of children die from burn-related injuries each year, but there are simple things you can do in your Chicago home to prevent it from happening to your family.

February 6-12 is National Burn Awareness Week, a time set aside to alert parents to the dangers of unintentional burns.

Illinois is one of the top five states in the country for having the most fire- and burn-related deaths of children under age 14, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

According to the American Burn Association, hot top water accounts for almost 1 in 4 of all scald burns among children and is associated with more deaths than any other hot liquid burn.

Child reaching for a pot on the stove.

Always use the back burners when cooking and make sure you turn the pot handles inward to avoid accidents.

“Parents should set their water heater thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius),” said Safe Kids USA President Meri-K Appy, “or if you are unable to control the temperature that comes out of your faucet, install water faucets and shower heads that can shut off the flow of water when it gets too hot.”

Of non-tap water scalds, more than 90 percent of burns were related to hot cooking or drinking liquids.

Safe Kids USA offers these simple safety measures for protecting your children against burn injuries:

*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 and cause hot food to spill.

*Use the back burners when you are cooking, and turn the pot handles in toward the back of the stove.

*Never hold a child when cooking something hot.

*Make sure children cannot reach appliance cords.

*Ensure all foods and drinks are cool enough for children to consume.

*Always supervise children when they are in or near the kitchen.

*Closely supervise your children when they are in or near the bathtub, and check the water before they get in to ensure it’s the proper temperature.

“A burn is one of the most painful injuries a child can suffer,” said Appy. “Because young children have thinner skin than adults, their skin burns more deeply and at lower temperatures — and young children often cannot react quickly enough to escape harm.

“A little planning and a few simple precautions can prevent devastating injuries and even save a child’s life. ”

The top 5 states that have the most annual fire- and burn-related deaths in children 14 and under:

*Pennsylvania: 41

*New York: 32

*Texas: 32

*Illinois: 27

*North Carolina: 24

For more information on this campaign and tips to keep your children safe, visit safekids.org.

Categories: Education, Events

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