Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Preventing Burns In Young Children

Date:
March 10, 2005
Source:
Washington University School Of Medicine
Summary:
Childhood burns can happen when least expected: An inquisitive toddler crawling around the kitchen pulls on a coffee pot's dangling electrical cord, causing the scalding liquid to burn his tiny arm. The Trauma and Burn Program at Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children's Hospital admits approximately 165 burn patients a year and treats another 200 on an outpatient basis. Robert P. Foglia, M.D., director of the program, offers tips on how to prevent household burns, the leading cause of accidental deaths in the home.

Kitchens and bathrooms pose the most serious burn threats for small children.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Washington University School Of Medicine

Childhood burns can happen when least expected: An inquisitive toddler crawling around the kitchen pulls on a coffee pot's dangling electrical cord, causing the scalding liquid to burn his tiny arm.

Related Articles


The Trauma and Burn Program at Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children's Hospital — the only dedicated pediatric burn center in a 250-mile radius of St. Louis — admits approximately 165 burn patients a year and treats another 200 on an outpatient basis.

The American Burn Association reports that every year 1.1 million people have burn injuries that require medical attention and 50,000 of these people require hospitalization. In Missouri, burn injuries are the second most common cause of childhood traumatic deaths after motor vehicle accidents.

"Burns are the leading cause of accidental death in the home for children 14 and under," says Washington University pediatric surgeon, Robert P. Foglia, M.D. "Contrary to what many people believe, fire is not the leading cause of burn trauma in children, the majority of burn cases are caused by hot liquids."

And for small children, kitchens and bathrooms are the most dangerous places in the home. Dangling electrical cords connected to slow cookers, coffee makers and curling irons entice children who have just begun crawling and walking to grab and pull on cords, which can lead to painful burns.

Another problem source is the temperature of hot water heaters — which should never be higher than 130 degrees.

"Parents should never leave children alone in the bathtub, both to ensure that the child doesn't drown and to make sure the bath water doesn't become too hot or that the child does not turn the faucet," Foglia explains.

Thirty percent of children admitted to Washington University's Burn and Wound Treatment Center suffer from burns severe enough to require skin grafting. Fortunately, the remaining 70 percent can be treated with other treatments, such as daily whirlpooling, removal of damaged tissue from the wound and allowing the injury to heal as new skin forms.

Dressing changes and whirlpool therapy are an integral part of burn care.

"Previously, these could often be quite painful procedures for children," Fogila says. "Over the past decade, our use of procedural sedation has greatly changed the care of these children."

"You can do any treatment with a child once, but if it is a painful experience, the child will be terrified the next time," says Robin Moushey, a clinical nurse specialist in the Burn and Trauma Program. "Treating patients in the most pain-free manner possible is critical for both the child and the parents, who often are emotionally on edge because of the injury their child has suffered."

The Washington University trauma team continues to look for better ways to treat burn patients.

"The bottom line is that so many of these accidents are preventable," Foglia says. "Education and parenting classes devoted to increasing awareness of these dangers are key to prevention."

Ways to prevent household burns:

* Hot water heaters should not be set higher than 130 degrees.

* An adult should always check the bath water temperature — and never leave a child alone in the bathtub.

* Do not leave hot electrical devices unattended and keep electrical cords out of a child's reach.

* In the kitchen, keep hot liquids, including coffee and oatmeal, out of the reach of children.

* On camping trips, make sure the camp fire is completely extinguished and cold at bedtime. Young children can wake up in the middle of the night, be disoriented and may step or fall into the old camp fire.

* Pay close attention to children around barbeque grills in the summer.

* Remember to child proof your home, particularly the kitchen and bathroom, for potential burn problems.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University School Of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington University School Of Medicine. "Preventing Burns In Young Children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308132530.htm>.
Washington University School Of Medicine. (2005, March 10). Preventing Burns In Young Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308132530.htm
Washington University School Of Medicine. "Preventing Burns In Young Children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308132530.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins