From fire pits and stoves to hot baths and curling irons, there are many ways children can accidentally get burned at home. In fact, about 120,000 children under age 20 are seen in emergency departments for burns every year in the United States.
Scalds from hot water and other liquids are the most common cause of burns in young children, while burns from fires are more common in older kids.
While accidents can happen, I recommend parents take the following precautions to keep their kids safe:
Unfortunately, even if every safety measure is taken, burns can still happen.
Less severe burns that only cause redness and mild discomfort can be cared for at home with some simple first-aid. First, run a towel under room temperature water and apply to the burn — do not apply ice. Give Ibuprofen or Tylenol for discomfort and gently clean the burned area with soap and water. For more severe burns that cause pain and/or blistering, you should take your child to an urgent care clinic or the emergency department.
Take your child to an urgent care clinic if:
Take your child to the emergency room if:
Call 911 if:
Most importantly, trust your gut and err on the side of caution, especially if your child is an infant.