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Burns can happen in any home. Heat, electricity, contact with hard or rough surfaces (friction), and some common household chemicals can all cause burns. You can help protect your child by being aware of these hazards and keeping your child away from them.
Heat burns, also called thermal burns, are caused by contact with fire, steam, hot objects, or hot liquids. Tap water is a leading cause of non-fatal burns.
You can help protect your child from heat burns in the following ways.
Use screens to block off areas, if needed. When outdoors, keep your child away from barbecue grills and campfires.
These fixtures have built-in thermostats to control the maximum temperature of the water. Set the thermostat so that the water temperature doesn't exceed 49°C (120°F).
These prevent a child from turning on the heating elements of a stove.
This can keep hot pans and their contents away from the reach of your child.
Fireworks injure children each summer. Children can also get burns from using and being around firecrackers and sparklers.
Electrical burns are caused by contact with electrical sources or by lightning. Electrical current passing through a person's body may injure blood vessels, nerves, and muscles. Also, the throat and lungs can swell rapidly and severely, making breathing hard. The current can also damage the heart.
Protect your child around your home by using the following safety measures.
For example, be safe when using a hair dryer in the bathroom.
Check wires to see if they are loose or frayed.
Friction burns are caused by contact with any hard surface such as pavement ("road rash"), carpets, or gym floor surfaces. Most friction burns that occur in young children aren't serious. But they can be uncomfortable and painful.
You can help prevent friction burns in the following ways.
Two examples are knee pads and elbow pads for roller skating or riding scooters.
Chemical burns need evaluation and treatment. Keep the phone number for your local Poison Control Centre on or near your phone. Visit infopoison.ca to find your provincial poison control centre. Have the product container with you when you call.
Burns can result from contact with a solid, powdered, or liquid chemical. A chemical burn may be serious because of the action of the corrosive or irritating chemicals on the skin. A chemical burn on the skin is often deeper and larger than it may first appear. Chemical fumes and vapours can also irritate or damage the body, especially the skin, lungs, and eyes. A swallowed chemical may be poisonous or may cause burning in the throat and esophagus.
If your child uses battery-operated toys, make sure the batteries are in protective casings that require assistance from an adult to open (such as casings secured with screws).
Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: John Pope MD - PediatricsKathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
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