Community Safety: Preventing Pediatric Burns

by | May 31, 2019 | Occupational Therapy

In addition to my work as a pediatric occupational therapist at TEAM 4 Kids, I also work as an occupational therapist at the Arizona Burn Center. The Arizona Burn Center is the second largest burn center in the United States and we are able to treat any type of burn injury.  One of the most common populations we see and treat are pediatric burns. These injuries can impact the development of fine and gross motor skills depending on the location of the injury. Here are some simple and effective ways to prevent these types of injuries from occurring.

Hot water: Water at 140 degrees can badly burn a child in 2 seconds.

  • Most home water heaters are set to around 140 degrees. Adjust the temperature of water heaters to between 120 and 130 degrees.
  • Keep all handles on cooking pots and pans turned in towards the stove or cooktop.
  • Do not place containers with hot liquids near the edge of tables or counters. Place them out of reach of curious hands.
  • Do not place humidifiers within reach of children. Also, ensure that cords are out of reach.
  • Keep hot coffee and tea in containers with secure lids.

Contact burns: Irons, curling irons, stoves, and hot plates.

  • Keep the oven door closed.
  • Keep cords out of reach so that children do not pull hot items down on themselves.
  • When possible keep children out of the kitchen when cooking.

Many of these burns occur during the time when children are increasing mobility and are able to grab items from previously unreachable areas.  Always supervise and be aware of children when near hot liquids or items.

These are some guidelines to protect children and others from burn injury.  I would prefer to continue to see kids only at TEAM 4 Kids and not at my other job. Stay safe everyone.

Brent Robinson M.S.,OTR/L