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15 safety tips to avoid burns during cold weather months

Preventing burns

With winter weather here, we tend to see specific burn injuries as a result of people trying to stay warm.

The Via Christi Regional Burn Center reminds parents and caregivers to keep the following safety tips in mind:

Space heaters:

  • Keep them away from curtains, bedding and other fabric-covered items.
  • Keep young toddlers and the elderly a safe distance away to prevent accidental falls.
  • Never plug in a space heater with other electrical appliances or items in order to prevent overheating and electrical fires.

Campfires/chimineas/fire pits/fireplaces:

  • Keep young toddlers and the elderly a safe distance away to prevent accidental falls.
  • Actively supervise children around any active fire.
  • Remember that coals and wood can still be hot several hours and even the day after a fire is extinguished.
  • When using a fireplace, remember that protective glass and metal screens can become very hot.
  • Make sure a fire is properly ventilated and the vessel is kept clean to prevent smoke inhalation.
  • Never use lighter fluid or excelerant to start a fire as it can be unpredictable and cause a flash fire.

Hot water heaters:

  • Set hot water heater no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Test water with your wrist or elbow before a child or elderly adult gets in
  • Don’t boil water on the stove to create a hot bath as you can’t be sure how hot the water will be.

Hot drinks and soups

  • When cooking with large amounts of liquid, such as making soup or spaghetti, be sure to keep children away from the stove and turn pot handles out of reach.
  • If warming liquids in the microwave, allow them to cool before removing them or drinking them.
  • If an adult is drinking coffee or hot liquid, it’s not the best idea to be holding an infant or small child as the liquid could accidentally cause a scald burn if spilled.
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About Sarah Fischer BSN RN

Sarah Fischer, BSN, RN, is the Burn Program coordinator for Via Christi Regional Burn Center in Wichita, Kansas.