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Burns – The Need For Caution

Every year in Canada, severe injuries and deaths occur as a result of burns and scalds. Sadly, many of these injuries affected children and could have easily been prevented. Usually, it’s children’s curiosity that gets them into trouble. They come across a lighter or matches, or they manage to get too close to a baseboard heater or a hot stove element.

Burns from Hot Liquids

  • When bathing children, always turn cold water on first before the hot. Test the water temperature before allowing your child to get into the bathtub or shower. Consider adjusting your hot water heater to a maximum temperature of 49°C or 120°F.
  • Children should not play with a hot water tap. Teach them to turn the cold water on first.
  • Avoid carrying or holding children while you are drinking a hot beverage.

Burns from Household Appliances

  • Turn pot handles towards the centre of the stove.
  • Keep cords for electrical appliances such as deep fryers, kettles, steam irons and toasters out of the reach of children.
  • Supervise children near lamps with accessible hot light bulbs.
  • Store items that interest children, such as cookies, away from the immediate area around the kitchen stove.
  • Keep children away from stationary and portable heaters.

Lighters and Matches

Every year hundreds of fires are started by children playing with lighters or matches. Many of these fires are caused by children under the age of five. Children as young as 18 months have caused fires by operating lighters. Disposable lighters sold by retailers must be child-resistant, but remember, child-resistant does not mean childproof. Store lighters out of sight and out of the reach of children and do not remove the child safety devices from the lighter. Remember to:

  • Teach children that lighters and matches are not toys.
  • Instruct young children to tell an adult if they find lighters or matches.
  • Set a good example: always use lighters and matches responsibly.
  • Install and maintain smoke alarms.
  • Supervise your children’s play.

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