Babies, toddlers, and young children are among the most at-risk populations for burn injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 300 children require emergency burn treatment each day in the U.S., and two children die from their injuries. For this reason, baby and childproofing your home is one of the most important ways you can ensure your child’s safety. Consider these tips for reducing the number of child burn hazards in your home:

Preparing the Fireplace for Your Baby

Fireplaces are often especially enticing for young children as they can be fun places to hide or explore. The best way to protect them from fire, heat, and sparks is to contain your children in a playpen, play yard, or other secure area when the fireplace is in use, or to install a sturdy fence around the entire fireplace and hearth.

It is important to note that traditional freestanding screens are not enough. Not only do they get hot, but toddlers also may pull this down or fall into it. A better option is a configurable play yard that can surround the entire fireplace to keep the child from getting near the fire. Bolting this to the wall on each side will secure it, preventing the child from tipping it over.

Staying Safe in the Kitchen

The kitchen is perhaps the most dangerous room in the house for babies and toddlers. The oven and stove is a tempting playground for most young children who want to climb on the oven door and turn the stove knobs. Climbing also allows them access to anything cooking on the stovetop, and many children receive scald burns when they pull hot foods off the stove.

If you have a self-cleaning oven, the door probably has a built-in lock. Keep this lock engaged at all times to prevent climbing. If your oven does not have a lock, you can purchase one for a few dollars.

Also, invest in knob covers to prevent your children from turning on the stove or remove the knobs when not in use. They are typically easy to remove and replace.
Lastly, always try to use the back burners, and never let pot handles hang over the edge of the stove. Instead, keep them turned inward where curious children cannot reach them easily. Consider installing safety gates to prevent small children from coming in the kitchen while you are cooking.

Safeguard Against Scald Hazards

Scalds are one of the most common ways young children receive burn injuries. Heated liquids, simmering foods, and hot tap water can all lead to serious burns in babies and toddlers.

Restricting access to faucets and investing in babyproof faucet handle covers can help reduce the risk, but the best way to prevent scalds from household taps is to adjust the water heater to a maximum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. For a baby’s bathwater, ensure the temperature is not above 100 degrees; you can check the temperature with your elbow or invest in a water thermometer.

It is also important to avoid drinking anything hot while holding your child; also make sure you never put a hot drink in your stroller’s cup holder as one tiny bump could cause your drink to tip. While we typically do not think of our daily hot tea or coffee as harmful to our children, an accidental spill can do serious damage to an infant’s thin, tender skin.

Protect Your Family In Case of a Fire

About two out of every three people who die in a fire in the United States die in a home with no working smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Smoke alarms play a key role in detecting a fire and giving you family the best chance of escaping without burns or other serious injuries.

The NFPA recommends:

  • Installing a smoke alarm in each bedroom
  • Having a smoke alarm outside each bedroom
  • Installing an alarm on each floor of the home
  • Having an interconnected system, so all alarms sound at once
  • Testing your alarms monthly
  • Changing batteries regularly
  • Replacing all alarms every ten years

Check Out Our Blog

Be sure to check out our blog for more tips on keeping yourself and your family safe from burns all year long.