A scald is a burn to the skin caused by moist heat such as hot water or steam. Scalding from hot water can easily result in a second-degree burn.
Common Causes of Burns to Children
Many times a scalding injury occurs when a hot water heater is turned up too high and often this occurs on young children. His scalding burn can be an accident or even intentional as in cases of child abuse.
Many children are put in a bath that is much too hot for the child and the results can be catastrophic. Responsibility for the maximum temperature of the water heater can rest with a landlord or other owner.
Certainly, no child should be put into a hot bath or hot water without an adult testing the temperature to make sure it is okay.
Every year over a hundred thousand people are treated in emergency rooms because of scalding. Many are hospitalized and about 80% of the serious hot-water burns are either children or the elderly or physically or mentally impaired.
Many people turn their hot water heaters up high because of the lack of hot water availability. This can be a tremendous mistake when the cold water is not balanced out and lead to a serious burn injury on the part of a child.
Minor scalding injuries can be treated with cold water or ice applied immediately after the burn. Over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol or aspirin may also be used to reduce the pain. Many experts argue against the use of antiseptic creams or sprays suggesting that they may inhibit healing.
Very severe burns can result in extremely painful and long-lasting injury and even skin grafts may be appropriate. Severe burn injuries can easily run into hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical care and may require a lifetime of suffering.
Burns Can Happen Quickly
It is shocking how quickly someone can get burned with hot water. The severity of the burn depends upon how long the skin is in contact with the hot water and the water temperature.
Hot-water heaters for home use are recommended to be set at 120°F and no hotter. At 140°F, it takes a mere five seconds for a serious burn to occur.
Other sources of a burn injury can be children playing or attempting to help in the kitchen when food is cooking on the stove. Hot water or hot grease spilled on a child can be life-threatening. Keep pots and containers with hot liquid out of reach of children at all times. Burns can also happen at daycare centers, and if your child is injured at a daycare call an attorney asap.
Always have an experienced caretaker looking after your children and test the water before putting a young child in the bathwater.
Some Child Burn Statistics:
- 250,000 children seek medical attention each year from burns.
- Over 15,000 children are hospitalized each year for burn injuries
- Over 1000 children die from burns each year
- 5000 children are injured each year by hot water
- 60,000 children are burned each year by coming into contact with hot objects such as ovens, hair curlers or irons.