Burn Prevention Tips

Burn Prevention in the Kitchen

  • Keep hot liquids out of reach of children.  If you have a hot beverage, keep a tight fitting lid on it and never use a cup for hot liquids that a child usually drinks from.  Never carry hot liquids while holding or carrying a child.
  • Turn handles of pots and pans back away from the edge of the cooktop.  And use the back burners when young children are present.
  • Keep electric cords coiled and away from counter edges.  Curious children may reach up and grab handles and cords.
  • Keep a "No Kids Zone" in the kitchen.  Safe play areas should be out of the traffic path between the stove and sink.  This prevents trip hazards and spill hazards.
  • Never use water to put out a grease fire.  This can cause the grease to splash and scald you.  Instead, put a lid on the pan and turn off the heat.  Never try to move the pan until the grease has cooled completely.
  • Wear tight-fitting or short sleeves while cooking
  • Use oven mitts or potholders when moving pots of hot liquid or food.
  • When taking lids off hot foods, especially out of the microwave, open the lid away from your face to prevent scald injuries.

Burn Prevention in the Bathroom

  • The safest temperature for bathing is 100oF.  Hot water heaters should be set no higher than 120oF.  To check the temperature of your hot water, let the water run for 3-5 minutes then test with a thermometer.  If it is higher than 120oF adjust the thermostat and wait 24 hours before retesting.
  • NEVER leave a child unattended in the bathtub.  If you need to leave the room for anything, take the child out of the tub and take them with you.
  • When bathing a child in the bathtub, face young children away from the faucets and so they cannot reach the faucet.
  • Do not leave the bathroom unattended when the tub is filling.  And always test the water with your elbow, wrist or fingers with spread fingers before allowing anyone to get in.  The water should feel warm, not hot to touch.
  • Avoid flushing toilets, running water, or using the dishwasher or clothes washer while anyone is showering to avoid sudden fluctuations in water temperature.

First Aid for Burns

Even a small burn may have the potential to become infected.  It is always advisable to seek medical attention as soon as possible.  Remember, when in doubt or if you think the individual's life is in danger, call 911.  Remain calm and provide the operator with the necessary information to get the EMS personnel to you.

First-degree burns are usually associate with a sun burn.  The skin is usually still intact, but may appear to be red, very warm or hot to the touch and painful.  There may be small blisters, and swelling in and around the area of injury.  Initial first-aid treatment for a first degree burn includes the following:

  • Stop the burn process by cooling the burn with cool (NOT COLD) water for at least 5 minutes. DO NOT use ice or butter.
  • Remove all jewelry, watches, rings and clothing around the burned area as soon as possible.
  • Cover the burn loosely with sterile gauze bandages or a clean cloth.
  • Drink plenty of fluids if the person appears to be dehydrated.
  • If the burn is larger than the size of the victim's palm, seek medical attention without delay.

For more severe burns, do not delay in seeking medical treatment.  

For more tips on burn prevention and first aid for burns, visit the American Burn Association at ameriburn.org