Parenting Perspective:Don't get burned!

January 17, 2012 12:51:03 PM PST
My one-year-old twins already know the word "hot" even though they've never been burned.

But burns can happen all too quickly at home, so the American Academy of Pediatrics has a great article on how to prevent and treat childhood burns. You can read the full article at and type in the word "burns." But this is a summary: Burns can happen quickly with children, and often when you least expect it. If they get in the tub when the water is too hot; if they tip over your coffee mug and it spills on them; if they touch the toaster oven/stove or oven. But there are many ways you can prevent burns.

1. Don't leave food cooking on the stove unless you're standing there.

2. Don't smoke inside.

3. Lower the water heater temperature in your house to under 120-degrees.

4. Don't plug appliances or other equipment into extension cords if it overloads the outlet.

5. Keep matches and lighters out of reach.

6. Avoid fireworks.

7. Install smoke detectors on every floor and replace the batteries regularly.

8. Teach your children to stop, drop and roll and how to crawl out the door.

9. Buy a safety ladder if your home has multiple floors and practice using it.

10. Have several working fire extinguishers handy.

11. Practice home safety drills and decide on an outdoor meeting place if there's an emergency.

12. Use sunscreen regularly.

13. Make sure space heaters are off limits to small children.

If your child does get burned, the treatment depends on how badly they're burned.

Quickly soak the burn in cool water. Do NOT use ice and don't rub the burned skin. It can increase blistering. Cool smoldering clothing with cool water then remove it. Cover the burn with a sterile gauze pad or clean, dry cloth. If the burn is oozing, see a doctor immediately.

Do NOT put butter, grease or powder on a burn. These "home remedies" can cause more damage.

If the burn involves the face, hands, feet or genitals, you must see a doctor. If more than 10% of your child's body is burned or the burns are white and charred (3rd degree burns) see a doctor.

Obviously call 911 if you're not sure what to do.

Read more Parenting Perspective blogs by visiting the Parenting Channel on