The smell of cookies baking in the oven or tasty sauces simmering on the stovetop is hard to resist for adults and kids alike. Here are a few simple steps to keep your little chef safe from potential burns, whether in the kitchen, around a fireplace or in any other part of your home.
In 2012, more than 136,000 children across the country, including more than 67,000 children 4 and under, were injured due to a fire or burn and treated in emergency rooms.
- Don’t carry or hold a child while cooking on the stove. Instead, move a high chair in the kitchen within reach or sight before you start. Then talk to your children so they know what’s going on. It’s a great way to spend time together.
- With everything going on, we know the water heater is the last thing on your mind. But a small adjustment can give you one less thing to worry about. To prevent accidental scalding, set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or the manufacturer’s recommended setting.
- Kids love to reach, so to prevent hot food or liquid spills, simply use the back burner of your stove and turn pot handles away from the edge. Keep hot foods away from the edge of your counters.
- Make a habit of placing matches, gasoline and lighters in a safe place, out of children’s reach. Avoid novelty lighters or lighters that look like toys.
Reduce water temperature. Children’s skin burns at lower temperatures and more deeply than that of older children and adults.
- Set your water heater thermostat at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Test the bathwater with your wrist or elbow before placing your child in it.
- Consider installing anti-scald devices on water faucets and shower heads that turn off the water if the temperature is too hot.
Childproof outlets. Children can insert metal objects, such as forks or keys, into outlets, causing electrical burns.
- Cover unused electrical outlets with safety devices.
Remove items that can burn easily.
- Keep matches, gasoline, and lighters locked away and out of children’s reach. Do not use these items for fun – children can imitate you.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended. Place candles in safe locations, away from combustible materials and where children or pets cannot tip them over.
- Unplug irons and curling irons when not in use. Store them out of a child’s reach.
- Keep appliance cords out of children’s reach, especially if the appliances contain hot foods or liquids.
Establish a “kid-free zone” and avoid hot spills.
- Keep children away from cooking and heating appliances (e.g., space heaters, fireplaces, irons, hair styling tools). Never leave the kitchen while you are cooking. If you must leave the room, take the child with you.
- Cook with pots and pans on back burners and turn handles away from the front.
- Keep hot foods and liquids away from table and counter edges.
- Remove tablecloths from tables.
- Never carry or hold children and hot foods or liquids at the same time.
- Do not allow young children to use the microwave.
Test food and drink temperature.
- Taste cooked food and heated liquids to make sure they are not too hot for your child.
- Never microwave your baby’s bottle. Drinks heated in a microwave may be much hotter than their containers.
- Heat bottles with warm water and test them before feeding your baby.
Be safe around heating appliances.
- Place space heaters at least 3 feet away from curtains, papers, furniture and other flammable materials.
- Make sure heaters are stable, and use protective coverings. Always turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Keep a screen in front of the fireplace. If it has a glass screen, it can take a long time to cool down and can burn a young child.