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Burns: Babies Burn

Filed Under: Baby and Child Health at 4:58 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Stovetop CookingDuring the summer months, we tend to gravitate towards cooler foods. Breakfasts consist of yogurts, fruits and cereals. Lunches are cold sandwiches or salads, and dinners lean towards lukewarm rather than steaming. However that all changes as soon as the outside temperatures drop. Soups, stews and hearty casseroles cover the table. Everything from dawn to dusk becomes hot. Even the easy, throw-together sandwich hits the stovetop. We become obsessed with warming our bodies with food. Unfortunately, as we increase the kitchen heat, we also increase the likelihood of scalding away some skin.

Burns are a common occurrence in the kitchen. You stop paying attention and grab the pan with the mitt-free hand. You stumble, sloshing puddles of boiling soup onto your arms and legs. Or you forget that coffee is hot, gulp and singe the roof of your mouth. For you, the accident is a minor annoyance, but for children, it can be much more brutal. With thinner skin, a child’s burns are likely to occur more quickly, deeply and severely.   In fact, children under four are five times more likely to scald themselves than the rest of the population and 3.5 times as likely to do so in the kitchen. Hospitals see 10,000 pediatric burns a year, many of which are fatal making it the second leading cause of accidental death in children. 

To safeguard your children, become aware of the various degrees of burns and the appropriate treatment methods.  Keep aloe vera or an antibiotic ointment on hand, just in case. And take the steps necessary to reduce burn opportunities. This encompasses your entire house but in the kitchen, follow these suggestions:

• Create a no-go zone – make it clear to the kids where/what they can and cannot touch. Small children are unaware of the dangers of hot objects . . . until you teach them.
• Store the treats away from the stove – nothing calls to a three-year-old like a package of cookies. If the goodies are far away from the reddening coils, you’ll save his thieving hands from a potential burn.
• Avoid tablecloths – what’s more fun than yanking on the tablecloth and upsetting the entire meal? Yanking on the tablecloth and overturning the fresh-from-the-oven, don’t-touch-that main dish on your hands. Stick with placemats and move the hottest items to the center of the table, out of reach.
• Put him down; kick him out – he turns his sweet little eyes on you, pouting, and within seconds, you have him on your hip, helping you stir the sauce. Next time, keep him on the floor. No matter how cute he is, he shouldn’t be helping you with hot-food production. If he must, allow him to measure and stir, pre-heating.

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Tea Tree Therapy – Tea Tree Antiseptic Ointment – 2 oz.
Thayers – Medicated Superhazel Astringent with Aloe Vera – 12 oz.

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