February 7, 2019

Burn dangers in the kitchen

It's National Burn Awareness Week, and our Burn Center wants to help you prevent burns. Scalds were the most common injury for children in the Burn Center in 2018.

One place where scalds and burns happen is the kitchen. As children grow, they like to try out their independence. And that may mean trying to "help" mom or dad in the kitchen.

Keep kids safe in the kitchen with these tips to avoid accidental burns:

  • Kids can be faster (and stretchier) than grown-ups. You might not think twice about holding a toddler while checking on something cooking on the stove top, but a quick grab or kick will send a hot pot flying.

  • It only takes a second to get a third-degree burn from hot coffee. Consider using mugs with lids. Move hot foods and liquids away from table and countertop edges. All it takes is a moment of setting something down for a little one to pull it over. Don't forget crockpots and their cords.

  • Let food rest for 1 minute before removing from the microwave. Use extreme caution when taking things out, especially when you have to reach up to do so. Steam, hot dishes and overheated food are all dangerous.

  • Use guards or take knobs off the front of the stove; use only the back burners if possible; remember — hot steam can burn, too, so be careful when removing lids to check on food.

  • Use a lid or splash guard when cooking with grease. And if a grease fire does start, cover the pan, never use water or try to move it.

  • Make the area around your cook top and oven a "no play zone." Keep kids, toys and tripping hazards 3 feet or more away from hot surfaces and flames.

  • Arrange the kitchen with safety in mind: Keep silverware in a drawer away from the toaster; store the kids' dishes away from the stove; keep dish washing liquid on a high shelf; etc.

  • Teach kids that appliances often stay hot long after they are turned off.

  • Set a good example and use hot pads for grilling or cooking rather than towels. Make sure kids know that grills and grilling tools are also hot.

  • Almost half of all home fires are caused by cooking. Always use timers, and never leave the home while cooking.