Posted on February 7th, 2012 by Zane Cagle
As Monday marked the beginning of National Burn Week (Feb 5-11), we want to talk about some different kinds of burns. As stated in prior blogs, an estimated 83,300 children ages 14 and under were treated in hospitals for burn-related injuries in 2003. Approximately 21,000 children were treated for scald burns. So what are scald burns? Hot food and beverage scalds, microwave scalds, tap water scalds, and other such as potpourri pots, hot steam vaporizers, home radiators, and car radiators.
Today, we want to focus on hot food and beverage scalds. Many burns and scalds happen in the kitchen during food preparation and serving. Cooking related scalds are common in all age groups but especially dangerous for children, older adults and people with disabilities. As stated in Friday’s blog, children and older adults usually have thinner skin which means temperature does not have to be as hot or have as much contact time in order to produce a serious burn. In cooking preparation, children can easily get burned when they accidentally upset coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate or other hot beverages. As well, children can be easily burned when they grab dangling appliance cods or pot handles, or pull on hanging tablecloths. Adults receive cooking related scalds when they are attempting to move hot containers or when spills occur.
Steps You Can Take to Make Your Cooking Area Safe:
*Establish a safe area, out of the path of traffic between the stove and sink where children can play safely but close enough to be supervised
*Place young children in high chairs or play pens a safe distance from counters and cook tops, hot liquids, hot surfaces and other cooking hazards.
*Child walkers are very dangerous and should never be allowed in the kitchen or bathroom
*Cook on back burners when children are present.
*Keep all pot handles turned back, away from the stove edge. All appliance cords need to be kept coiled and away from counter edges. Curious children tend to reach to grab cords and/or handles. Grease in deep fat fryers and cookers can reach temperatures over 400 degrees and can cause serious burns in less than one second
*When removing lids from hot foods, remember that steam may have accumulated—lift the cover or lid away from your face and arm
*If young children want to help with meal preparation, give them something cool to mix in a location away from the cooking. Do not allow a child to stand on a chair or sit on the counter next to the stove.
* Check all handles on appliances and cooking utensils to be sure they are secure
*Consider the weight of pots and pans and lift only those items you can easily handle
*Wear short sleeves or tight-fitting clothing while cooking
*Always use oven mitts or potholders when moving pots of hot liquid or food
*If rugs are used in the cooking area, be sure they have non-slip
We hope you have found these safety tips useful for safe cooking in order to avoid burns and scalds. Look for more helpful tips in our blogs later this week. Or you can always check out the American Burn Association for helpful suggestions and information.
Burns are extremely painful and can occur at home or in the workplace. If you or a loved one has sustained a burn injury due to the negligence of another, it is wise to consult an expert personal injury attorney to examine your options. Consultations with Zane T. Cagle at The Cagle Law Firm are always free 1(314) 276-1681