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Children, especially growing babies and toddlers, are very prone to burns while at home, especially when you get busy with your daily chores. It is likely that they will slip away somewhere, or touch something dangerous, when there is just a single moment’s lack of attention. This is enough for an accident!
A burn injury can be very painful for the child and cause redness, inflammation and discomfort. If the burn is very severe, it can also prove to be life-threatening. The unfortunate part is that most burn accidents occur not because of a full-blown fire or hazard, but due to an inadequate level of child-proofing at your home and while outdoors!
Must-Dos To Prevent Burns At Home and Outside
Burns and scald accidents are most common in the kitchens and bathrooms. In these areas, you need to take extra precautions to ensure your child is safe. These accidents can also unknowingly happen in other areas such as the bedroom or living-room!
Kitchen or Living Room
- Make sure the child does not enter the kitchen in your absence.
- Keep your child away from stoves, pressure cookers, toasters and other hot appliances. This is especially important if you baby-wear your child and carry him along while working in the kitchen.
- Turn the handles of pans away from yourself while cooking.
- Don’t use deep fryers when your baby is around.
- Follow instructions and safety guidelines when using appliances like ovens, inductions, etc.
- Don’t wear or dress your child in flowy clothing to avoid them from coming in contact with open flames.
- Make sure to check the water temperature settings before giving your child a bath. If it is hot for an adult, it will be too hot for the child.
- Make sure to keep your little one facing away from all the faucets & taps and use safe bath tubs specially designed for babies. ||
- Look into investing in child safety locks for hot water taps.
- When filling water for a bath, pour cold water and mix in hot water gradually. Babies younger than 2 should never be left alone in the bath even for a moment.
- Turn the thermostat in the bathrooms down, if you are using one for indoor heating.
Around the House
- Keep bedside lamps far from your child.
- Don’t handle your child while having hot food or drinks.
- Iron clothes when the toddler is not around (maybe when he’s taking a nap).
- Keep his play area and bed away from heaters.
- Opt for safer appliances like a blower instead of a heater.
- Make sure things like match boxes and lighters are out of reach at all times.
- If you smoke, don’t leave smoldering cigarettes in ashtrays where the child can reach them.
While in-house conditions are controllable, conditions outdoors may not be as easy to control. However, constant vigilance will help prevent burn accidents wherever possible. Remember these two guidelines in particular:
- Barbecues and open fires are potential danger areas. Keep an eye on your child when he is around such equipment, possibly even in your backyard, or during a birthday celebration. (Note: Be especially careful while lighting candles. Make sure all the children are away from the table – it can get quite chaotic during a kids’ party so be extra cautious)
- Metal slides or swings can cause burns when they get hot from the sun. Check before your toddler touches them in the park or playground. If he’s going to be out for long hours in the sun, it’s best to cover up the child against sunburn.
Do’s and Don’ts In Treating a Burn in Your Child
Despite your best intentions, there may still be accidents. If your child has suffered a burn, follow these guidelines at once before the doctor arrives:
- Take the child to a safe place away from the burn source. (Note: If it is an electric burn, switch off the source and separate the child from the burn source using a non-metallic object.)
- Wrap him in a blanket, and smother the flames if any part of his body is on fire.
- Remove his clothes unless they are stuck to the burnt area. (Note: If it is a chemical burn, run water on the burn for a few minutes before removing the clothes, so that the chemical doesn’t spill on other exposed body parts.)
- Remove his watch or any jewellery.
- Run water on the burn.
- Put a wet cloth on the burn area. Keep re-wetting the cloth if required.
- Lay the child down and raise the burnt area above the level of his chest.
- Administer the child a pain relieving medicine.
- In case of second or third- degree burns, consult a doctor as soon as possible.
- Don’t remove clothes if they are stuck to the burn.
- Don’t burst blisters.
- Do not put ice or ice water.
- Do not put creams or flour on the burn, even if advised to, as they increase the chances of infection.
So moms, the golden rule is: Till the time the child understands what a switch or a fire is, DON’T FORGET to child-proof your home. Keep a close watch on his/her every step. Let alone toddlers, even little babies can feel very drawn to a glowing fire or a spark. And when it comes to the centre of your world, your little darling, prevention is always better than cure!