RI & Hasbro Children’s Hospital Experts Offer Tips to Avoid Scalding Injuries

Thursday, February 04, 2016

 

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Hasbro Children's Hospital

Dina Morrissey, M.D., research associate for the Injury Prevention Center at Hasbro Children's Hospital and David Harrington, M.D., director of Rhode Island Burn Center at Rhode Island Hospital are offering safety reminders and privation tips fro local families in an effort to reduce scalding injuries. 

Of nearly 600,000 burn injuries see in emergency departments nationwide each year, a large number are related to scalding, or burns caused by heated fluids. 

“Yet again this past year, an average of two-thirds of all burns admitted at Hasbro Children’s Hospital were related to scalding injuries, according to data from the Rhode Island Hospital Trauma Registry. National Burn Awareness Week is again this year focused on scalding injuries because of the high number of scald injuries seen in emergency departments," said Morrissey.

About 75 percent of the cases are children. 

“Because of the proportions of a child’s body, they often have burns over a much larger surface, and can be burned far more extensively, more quickly,” said Harrington. “But, we also must keep elderly dependents in mind and take precautions at bath time or while cooking in the kitchen.”

For the third straight year, National Burn Awareness Week, February 1 to 7 is focused on the reduction of scalding injuries. 

Harrington and Morrissey are offering the following  tips to prevent unintentional injuries from scalding: 

In the kitchen:

  • Always keep pot handles turned inward and use the back burners if possible.
  • Encourage the use of oven mitts and potholders to handle hot items.
  • Use pan lids to prevent hot liquid spatter and spills on the stove. Use appropriate protective equipment, such as an oven mitt, when removing hot pan lids.
  • Be careful when heating liquids or steaming food (popcorn, frozen vegetables, etc.) in the microwave.
  • Microwaves often heat unevenly, so be sure to stir liquids thoroughly after heating.
  • Always supervise young children in the kitchen.
  • Never hold a hot beverage while holding a child or caring for a dependent adult.
  • Never leave a hot beverage or plate of food unattended or close to edge of a counter or table when a young child is present.
  • Avoid the use of tablecloths and placemats. Young children may pull on them, causing a spill of hot liquid.
  • Do not use a microwave to heat baby formula.
  • Do not allow young children to use a microwave.

At bathtime:

  • Make sure home’s hot water heater is set no higher than 120 degrees F.
  • Always check the water temperature before putting a child or dependent adult in the tub. Both young children and the elderly have thinner skin compared to the average adult, and can burn more quickly and at a lower temperature.
  • Check the temperature of tub or sink water by placing your hand in the water for a full 10 seconds.
  • Consider purchasing a bath tub thermometer that will alert you if the water is too hot for a child or dependent adult.
  • Never leave a child or dependent adult unattended in the bathtub.

Hasbro Children's Hospital is he premier pediatric facility for clinical care, research and education for Rhode Island and surrounding southeastern New England. 

Click here for more information. 

 

Related Slideshow: 2015 RI Hospital Safety Scores

Below are snapshota of the patient safety scores for nine Rhode Island hospitals, as compiled by Leapfrog.com, for 2015.

For more information -- and other category criteria -- go to the scorecard website here to find out more about each hospital's rankings.

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