Keeping kids warm during the deep freeze of winter isn’t easy. You bundle them up to ward off the chill. But with colder temperatures come heating devices and the potential for getting burned.
“We do see more burns when it’s cold,” notes Barry Gilmore, chief of emergency services at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital. “A lot of people use space heaters or have gas registers on the floor, and kids will fall on those metal grates.” While they don’t see children with burns every day at the hospital’s emergency department, “we see burn victims several times a week, and they’re usually children ages 2 to 9.”
This winter, kids will be safer if you keep them away from these hot spots:
Open fires • Children can be mesmerized by flames. The crack and crackle of a fire might not provide enough
of a deterrent for the curious. If you have a fireplace indoors (or burn your trash outdoors), watch your children carefully. Keep them a safe distance away from any fire. Fireplaces should have a screen between the fire and the room. Remember that even with screens in place, embers can pop out from a fire and quickly ignite fabric or hair. Tip: Have a plan in place in the event of a house fire. Review how you would safely exit your home. Make sure all of your children know the plan so everyone can get out of the house safely.
Stove eyes • The eyes of the stove can be particularly dangerous for preschoolers, who often reach up and touch things with their hands that they can’t see. Sauce pans with handles sticking out can be easily get tipped, spilling hot contents on the person below. Tip: Keep children out of the kitchen when cooking on the stove.
Chicken noodle soup • Believe it or not, instant chicken noodle soup containers often causes burns. These instant soup products, which can be heated in the food container, are often prone to tipping over. What makes noodle soup particularly dangerous are the noodles themselves, which tend to stick to arms or legs, causing deeper burns. Tip: Pour soup contents into a bowl and allow it to cool before serving.
Small appliances • Irons, griddles, space heaters, and other appliances that generate heat once they’ve been running can be very hot to the touch. Tip: Keep hot objects out of reach of young children.
Gas heaters • If you heat your home with gas, make sure you keep a carbon monoxide detector on hand. Since carbon monoxide is an odorless gas, it’s impossible to detect a leak until fumes get to dangerous levels.Tip: Buy a detector. If it goes off, call your utility provider or a heat and cooling firm to have your furnace checked.
What to do if your child gets burned:
• Remove clothing from the burned areas. Do not remove clothing that is stuck to the skin and don’t break blisters.
• If it’s a first- or second-degree burn, run cool (not cold) water over the burn until the pain lessens. Do not put butter, oil, or ice on burns.
• Lightly apply a gauze bandage if it’s a small first-degree burn.
• Remove jewelry that’s close to the burn.
• Call 911 right away if your child is seriously burned.
Seek emergency medical care if: • it’s a second- or third-degree burn
• the burned area is large (cover the skin with a clean, soft cloth or towel)
• the burn came from a fire, an electrical wire or socket, or chemicals
• the burn is on the face, scalp, hands, or genitals
• the burn looks infected (with swelling, pus, or increasing redness or red streaking of the skin near the wound) — Source: kidshealth.org