Comfort food without the burn

Cold winter days make us crave comfort food, don’t they? From hot cocoa and chicken noodle soup to macaroni and cheese and ramen noodles, we’re all looking for ways to stay warm. For me it’s a hot cup of tea after a long drive home.

As a nurse with the Burn Program at Children’s Hospital, I see way too many kids who are hurt when they pull a container of hot liquid onto themselves or are left unsupervised in the kitchen.

Older kids can burn themselves on food they heat in the microwave. In fact, we are seeing an increase in kids with scald burns, which are caused by hot liquids or steam–many of which are preventable. Believe it or not, last year, more than 60 percent of kids with burns admitted to Children’s Hospital were hurt as a result of a scald injury.

When your kids come home after school or inside after building a snowman, please keep these things in mind to help prevent scald burns:

  • Children should not play close to the stove or sink.
  • Never drink or carry hot liquids while holding or carrying a child.
  • Never put hot liquids on low tables.
  • Turn pan handles in toward the stove, and cook on the back burners.
  • Never allow children younger than age 7 to use the microwave unsupervised.
  • Let your bag of microwave popcorn cool before opening, and always open it away from your face.

You can download and follow our minor burn treatment instructions to make sure the burn heals properly and doesn’t leave a lasting scar or injury.

Barb Riordan, BSN, RN~ Barb Riordan, BSN, RN, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

The Burn Clinic at Children’s Hospital provides comprehensive care for children with any kind of burn, including those caused by flames, scalds, electricity, chemicals or friction. Each year, Children’s Hospital cares for more than 100 inpatients with serious burns and more than 700 outpatients.


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