MIHS Arizona Burn Center cautions against scald injuries

February 1, 2016

Contact: Michael Murphy

It is one of the most common burn injuries doctors see at the MIHS Arizona Burn Center. A curious toddler wanders into the kitchen, sees a pot on the stove and reaches for the handle. In a matter of seconds, a scald injury occurs that may result in lifelong scarring.

Bath Safety

  • Set your water heater at 120 degrees F or just below the medium setting.
  • With a dual control faucet, always turn on the cold water first and turn it off last.
  • Run your hand through the bath water to test for hot spots.
  • Never leave young children in the bathroom or tub alone.

Kitchen Safety

  • Use the back burners on the stove.
  • Turn all pot handles toward the back to prevent children from reaching them.
  • Always use oven mitts when cooking or handling hot food and liquid.
  • Make a 3-foot “no kid zone” around your stove. Use a safety gate for young children or mark with tape for older children.
  • Keep coffee, tea and other hot drinks away from the edges of tables and counters. Also avoid placing hot liquids on tablecloths or placemats that could be pulled by young children.
  • Keep the cords from slow cookers and other appliances out of the reach of young children. Do not use extension cords.
  • Use a travel mug with a tight fitting lid for hot drinks.
  • Never carry or hold a child while drinking hot liquids.
  • Never carry or hold a child while preparing or serving hot food.
  • Do not let children use a microwave unsupervised. Assist with removing and opening containers of microwaved food.
  • Be sure your path is clear when carrying or serving hot food or liquids.

Scald Burn First Aid

  • Cool the burn with cool water. Do NOT use ice.
  • Remove clothing and jewelry from affected area.
  • Do not apply ointments, creams or other substances until seen by a medical professional.
  • Cover the burn with a clean, dry dressing.
  • Seek medical help immediately.

MIHS’s Arizona Burn Center is the only nationally verified Burn Center in Arizona and one of the busiest in the nation, providing care to more than 5,000 patients annually. Burn Center staff provides all services from emergency treatment to intensive care to rehabilitation and outpatient follow-up care.    


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