Burning pain

One of the most painful injuries is a burn. 

It’s currently Burn Awareness Week, and for good reason.  Among all accidental injuries, fire and burns are the number five cause of death in children ages 14 and younger — in part because young children cannot recognize heat-related hazards quickly enough to react appropriately.

Children’s skin burns at lower temperatures and more deeply than that of older children and adults. A child exposed to 140-degree Fahrenheit liquid for five seconds will sustain a third-degree burn.

Each year, approximately 113,600 children ages 14 and younger are treated for fire/burn injuries and 518 children die due to unintentional fire- and burn-related injury. Scald burns, caused by hot liquids or steam, are more common types of burn-related injuries among young children, compared to contact burns, caused by direct contact with fire, which is more prevalent among older children. The pediatric surgery department at Dayton Children’s receives over 50 visits each month for burns.

Anyone can be at risk for a serious burn when distracted or not careful.  As we race around making dinner in the evening or leave hot coffee on the counter to answer the door – it’s really important to make sure hot items are kept away from curious children. It is important to teach your child safety around hot items in order to prevent burns, but nothing can take the place of supervision.

Burn Prevention Tips:

  • Keep hot foods and drinks away from the edge of tables and counters. Do not put them on a tablecloth that little hands can yank.
  • If you’re holding something hot, don’t hold your child too.
  • When you cook, keep your child away from the stove. Tell children that when you are cooking you are not to be bothered.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. If possible, use rear burners.
  • Watch for dangling appliance cords.
  • Prepare non-microwaveable snacks if children are not fully supervised.
  • Test heated food and liquids before serving children.
  • Always check the water temperature before placing your child in the tub. A child’s skin burns more easily than an adult’s.


  1. Reply
    Richard P. Console, Jr. March 6, 2013

    Burn prevention is very important, not just in recognition of Burn Awareness Week, but all year long. For those who were not able to prevent the burn however, it is somethign they must live with every day. The conversation about burns is so often about prevention that we very rarely address what happens once a burn occurs. I was personally shocked to read testimonials from burn victims that many of them prefered the security of a burn unit of a hospital to going home because they felt ostracized. I think in addition to prevention, we should all educate ourselves on how to best help those who are burn victims. Please feel free to read my below post on helping burn victims after the accident and post your thoughts here!

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.