Preventing Scalds and Burns


Scalds are the second leading cause of all burn injuries. They can happen to anyone, but children, older adults, and people with disabilities are especially at risk. Any hot liquid – bath water, hot coffee, and even microwaved soup, can cause devastating injuries.

When you have young children in the house, consider cooking on the back burners of the stove, have a one-metre, kid-free zone around the stove and as they get older, teach them kitchen safety.

Always turn pot handles away from the stove edge, keep appliance cords coiled and away from counter edges, and keep hot foods and liquids away from the table and counter edges.

Another important safety tip is to make sure your home water heaters are set to 49 degrees Celsius, and anytime you are using hot water, test it first to prevent scalds and burns.

If you do get a burn, treat it immediately with cool water for three to five minutes, then cover the burn with a dry cloth, and do not use any ointments, creams, or home remedies.

Call 9-1-1 or see your doctor if the burn is bigger than the injured person’s palm, is on the face, major joints, feet, or hands, or if the burn is caused by chemicals or electricity. Also seek medical attention if the skin of the burn is white, tight, dry (leathery), or painless; or if the burn causes difficulty breathing.

See your doctor if the burn doesn’t start to heal in two to three days.

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