Brrrr—it’s cold out there. Or at least it is here. It’s February in Wisconsin, and we expect this weather. We try lots of different things to stay warm, but often we don’t realize these things could cause serious burns. This is national Burn Awareness Week and as a nurse with Children’s Hospital’s burn program, I’d like share a few burn prevention tips to help keep you and your family safe this winter:

  • Fireplace doors: While a fire in the fireplace feels warm and cozy, the fireplace doors can get extremely hot. Keep infants and toddlers away from the fireplace with a protective gate.
  • Hot liquids: Hot chocolate, coffee, soup and tea can warm us up but also can burn a young child’s skin very quickly. Do not drink or carry hot liquids while holding a child, and do not place hot liquids within a child’s reach.
  • Space heaters: Are you using a space heater to help heat a room? Keep the heater 3 feet away from anything that can burn, like curtains or bedding. Do not let children near the heater when it’s in use.
  • Vaporizers: Using a steam vaporizer to help fight a cold? Place it on a level surface, and keep it out of the reach of small children. Better yet, replace it with a cool-mist humidifier.
  • Smoke detectors: Make sure you have a working smoke detector on every level of your home. Test the detectors monthly.

Spring will be here before we know it. Until then, stay warm and stay safe!

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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