Wednesday, May 29, 2024

State Fire Marshal's Office offers tips to prevent scald burns, especially in young children


OLYMPIA– A scald injury happen at any age, but children, older adults, and people with disabilities are at higher risk. Hot liquids from bath water, hot coffee or tea, and even microwaved soup can cause injuries.


According to the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA, scald burns are the second leading cause of all burn injuries. A scald is a burn from close contact with hot liquid or steam. Scalds are the most common type of burn affecting young children. Children ages four and under are at the most risk for scald burns, because they like to explore and do not know what can hurt them. 


To help prevent scalds, the SFMO asks that you follow these simple tips:

  • Teach children that hot things can burn. Install anti-scald devices on tub faucets and shower heads.
  • Always supervise a child in or near a bathtub.
  • Faucet water should be less than 100°F.
  • Place hot liquids and food in the center of a table or toward the back of the counter.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared.
  • Allow microwaved food to cool before eating, and open microwaved food slowly, away from the face.
  • Choose prepackaged soups whose containers have a wide base.
  • To avoid the possibility of a hot liquid spill, pour liquid into a traditional bowl after heating.
  • Never hold a child while cooking, drinking a hot liquid, or carrying anything hot.
  • Never heat a baby bottle in a microwave oven. Heat baby bottles in warm water from the faucet.
  • If you need to use a humidifier or vaporizer, use a cool-mist model rather than a hot-steam option. 


For more information, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (360) 596-3929.


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