Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

January 30, 2012

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Parents Cautioned: It Doesn't Take a Fire to Burn a Child

Safe Kids Kansas Observes Burn Awareness Week, Feb. 5-11

TOPEKA, Kan. -  During National Burn Awareness Week (Feb. 5-11), Safe Kids Kansas reminds parents and caregivers that fire is just one cause of burn injuries -- children can also be seriously injured by hot foods and beverages, heating appliances, hot pots and pans, electrical currents and chemicals.

Scald burns, caused by hot liquids or steam, are more common types of burn-related injuries among young children, compared to contact burns, caused by direct contact with fire, which is more prevalent among older children. Hot tap water accounts for nearly one in four of all scald burns among children and is associated with more deaths and hospitalizations than any other hot liquid burns. Young children are particularly at risk because they cannot recognize heat-related hazards quickly enough to react appropriately. Children’s skin burns at lower temperatures and more deeply than that of older children and adults. A child exposed to 140-degree Fahrenheit liquid for five seconds will sustain a third-degree burn.

“Other burn hazards to children are hot foods and beverages, space heaters, steam irons and curling irons,” says Cherie Sage, State Director for Safe Kids Kansas. “There’s a lot you can do around the home to minimize the risk of burn injuries.”

Safe Kids Kansas urges caregivers to:

It is still important to take precautions against fire, too. “You need a smoke alarm on each level of your home and in every sleeping area. Make sure each alarm actually works,” says Sage. Test your smoke alarms once a month and replace the batteries once a year (except for lithium batteries that are longer lasting; refer to manufacturer’s instructions). A working smoke alarm reduces the risk of dying in a fire by about 50 percent.
For more information about burn prevention, visit

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