Burn Prevention: Infant and Toddler :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

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Burn Prevention: Infant and Toddler

Burns can be serious injuries at any age, but infants and toddlers are at risk for burn injuries because of their innocent curiosity.

The most common causes of burns, as well as the steps you can take to prevent them from happening to your infant or toddler, are listed below.

Cause of Burn

Bathtub scald

How to Prevent Burn

  • Set your household hot water tank temperature at 120 F.
  • Don't leave your child unattended in the tub, even for a moment.
  • Test bath water with your wrist or elbow before you put the child in the tub.
  • Don't let your toddler play with the faucet.
  • Place a toddler at the end of the tub away from the faucet.

Kitchen and cooking burns

  • Don't hold an infant when you are eating, drinking, or preparing foods.
  • Keep hot foods away from your child until they cool to proper eating temperature.
  • Keep coffepots and cups away from the edge of the table and counters.
  • Don't use tablecloths that hang down (or keep out of children's reach).
  • Keep toddlers out of the kitchen while you prepare meals. If you can't keep them out, keep a safe place away from the stove for them.
  • Turn the handles of pots and pans toward the back of the stove.
  • Don't let the electrical cords to appliances such as coffeepots, crock pots, or deep fat fryers dangle over counter edges.

Cause of Burn

SunBurn

How to Prevent Burn

  • Keep your child out of direct midday sun (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
  • Apply a sunscreen lotion with an SPF of 30 at least half an hour before your child is out in the sun.
  • Dress your child in a hat with a brim when he or she is out in the sun.
  • Sunburn can occur even on cloudy days and in the shade if the child is near water.

Hot infant car seat/seat belt

  • Use a cloth cover on your child's seat.
  • Test the temperature of the seat and seat belt before putting your child in the seat.

Vaporizer

  • Use only a cold vaporizer - not steam.
  • Place the vaporizer on the floor or a low table.  Don't let the cord dangle.

Flame and Sparks

Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.

Don't leave burning cigarettes in ashtrays.

Don't smoke while holding a child.

Keep infants and toddlers away from fireplaces, barbecue grills, kerosene heaters, and wood-burning stoves. Use fireplace screens or doors.

Touching or falling on hot appliances

Don't leave your child alone near hot appliances (such as an oven door, space heater, or curling iron, fireplace or light).

Unplug appliances when not in use.

Biting Electrical Cords

Keep electrical cords behind furniture.

Teach your child not to play with electrical cords.

Cause of Burn

Putting metal objects or fingers into electrical outlets

Use safety outlets.

Drinking or Eating Chemicals (drain cleaner, dishwasher detergent, lye, acid, etc.)

Keep all chemicals in a locked cabinet and out of children's reach.

Keep the Poison Control Center phone number 1-800-222-1222 or 1-800-682-7625 (TDD 614-228-2272) at all phones in case of emergency.

IMPORTANT:  If you suspect your child of playing with fire, call your local fire department.  If you live within Franklin County, call the Juvenile Fire-setter Crisis Line at (614) 645-7377.

If you have any questions, call your local Fire Department's non-emergency number.

Burn Prevention: Infant and Toddler (PDF)

HH-IV-15 10/86, Revised 3/10 Copyright 1986-2010, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

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