Help Child Avoid Scalding Injury

Never take your eyes off your tot. And never leave any hot liquids where a child can accidentally pull the container over on onto themselves.

The most common causes of scalding accidents are spilled hot soup, coffee, and tea. Coffee from fast-food anad coffee outlets is often heated to 160 to 180 degrees, hot enough to cause serious burns. Measures as simple as setting water heaters to 120 degrees, using back burners and turning pot handles toward the back of the stove, keeping hot drinks away from the edge of tables and counters, and never holding or carrying a child with a hot drink in your hand can help prevent painful accidents.

The kitchen is not a good place for children to be playing, particularly when hot meals are being prepared. The National Scald Prevention Campaign recommends taping off a 3-foot “No Kid Zone” around the stove and using a safety gate to protect younger children from pressure cookers and hot liquids and steam.

After a burn, do not place ice on the burned area. You are risking a frostbite (cold) injury as well as the damage already done by the hot liquid. It’s better to run cold water over the burn or apply cold compresses and seek medical evaluation. Although every minute someone in the United States suffers a burn serious enough to require treatment, many people are unsure when to seek medical attention for a burn. Pain is really a big alarm, as is blistering, and these should be seen as soon as possible.

One method of dealing with a burn is the application of human placenta membrane, which contains stem cells that aid in healing. The treatment has been around since the 1980’s, but was in decline for awhile with worry about HIV and hepatitis. Now several companies process the placenta to make sure it is clean, but that has pushed up the cost so much that the treatment is generally only used for facial burns. Before, a burn might take three weeks to heal with daily scrubbing and applications of new dressings. With the placenta treatment, dressing changes usually aren’t required and burns can start healing as early as 3 days.

There is a home remedy out there that involves egg whites. Some people have reported success with this, but others, including medical doctors, have debunked it. Any burn that sloughs skin, blisters, bleeds, or is very painful should be seen by a medical doctor. Very minor burns (with none of the previous mentioned symptoms) can be treated with running the injured area under cold water until the heat is reduced and stops burning the layers of skin. Then apply the egg whites in a thin layer. You can keep reapplying when each layer dries out. Again, at no point should any home remedy be used if there has been any break in the skin. Seek immediate medical attention.

One thing to NEVER do. Never, ever, ever place anything that is greasy or oily on the burn. One, if done immediately, the heat from the burn will just heat up the oily substance and cause further burning of the skin past the initial burn. Two, when you get to the ER, the doctors will have to somehow get that mess off the burn, and I can guarantee you that it will not be pain-free. This includes butter, antibiotic ointments or creams, juice from an Aloe plant, or anything from the kitchen like bacon grease. Apply nothing but water and cold compresses moistened with water until you see a doctor if needed. Or until you talk to a doctor and get some advice. They may suggest medications specifically related to burn treatments.

Any burn, be it a scalding from hot water or steam, or from touching a hot object, is nothing to mess around with. Infection rates tend to be higher in burns than in scrapes because more layers of skin tend to be affected, as well as area of skin. Unless indicated by your doctor, dressings need to be changed daily, if not more frequently, to prevent infection.