Burns are considered as a potential hazard in any house. It is important to note that there are 4 types of burning hazards that can harm children – heat burns, friction burns, electrical burns and chemical burns.
Heat or thermal burns are caused by exposure to steam, fire, hot liquids or objects. Measures to protect a child include the following:
- Children should stay away from kitchen appliances, fireplaces, irons, wall heaters and portable heaters. Make sure that screens are installed to close off areas if desired. If outdoors, keep children away from campfires and barbeque grills.
- Install scald-resistant faucets in showers, sinks and bathtubs that children use. These fixtures have in-built thermostats to regulate the maximum temperature of the water.
- Utilize kitchen range dial protectors.
- When cooking, turn the pot handles away from the edge of the stove.
These burns are caused by exposure to electrical sources or lightning. The electric current that passes through the body can damage the nerves, blood vessels and muscles. In addition, the lungs and throat can rapidly swell and result to difficulty breathing and can also damage the heart.
- Use plug covers on all outlets.
- Unplug electrical items within the reach of children.
- Be careful when using electrical items close to water sources.
- Do not allow a child to play with toys that should be plugged into an electrical outlet.
- Avoid using several extension cords or receptacle multipliers to avoid overload.
- Electrical equipment and appliances that shows signs of wear such as loose or frayed wires must be replaced.
Chemical burns require assessment and treatment by a doctor. This can occur from exposure to solid, liquid or powder chemicals. A chemical burn can be serious due to the corrosive or irritating action on the skin.
Remember that the damage is often deeper and wider than it initially appears. Even inhaling the fumes or vapors can irritate or damage the body, especially the lungs, skin and eyes.
Friction burns are triggered by exposure to any hard surface such as carpets, pavement or gym floor surfaces. Most cases among children are not serious but cause pain and discomfort.
- Avoid pulling or dragging the child across carpeted flooring while playing.
- Safety equipment for physical activities must be used such as elbow pads or knee pads
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on burns prevention is for learning purposes only. Learn more about preventive measures for burns and how to manage one by taking a standard first aid course with Toronto First Aid.