Burns & Scalds
First Degree burns are mild and usually heal quickly. These are
burns that redden the skin and cause some soreness but they don't result in any
serious damage. Second Degree burns are far more serious. They cause severe pain and result in
blistered skin. They require immediate first aid and then medical attention. Third Degree burns are severe and require emergency medical attention. Tissue is
white, brown or charred and often surrounded by blisters. There is little or no
pain at first, but recovery can be extremely painful.
Kitchen Burn Hazards
Turn pot handles in. It is too easy to bump into a handle that juts out from
the stove and the hot contents could spill on you. Curious children will also
try to grab a pot handle to see what is inside the pot.
Keep children and pets at least a metre (3 feet) from the stove when cooking.
To reduce the risk of your clothes catching fire, wear garments with tight
fitting sleeves, or roll your sleeves up when cooking.
Oil and water truly do not mix. Do not throw wet or frozen food into hot grease
or oil. This will cause the liquid to splatter which can cause severe burns.
Put a lid on it! If the contents of a pan or pot catches fire, use an
appropriate lid to smother the flames.
Never carry a blazing pan to the sink.
The contents could spill and spread the fire around. Be aware that a portable
fire extinguisher can also splatter flaming liquids, if used improperly.
Be very careful when removing lids from hot food. Steam burns more quickly than
Don't Land In Hot Water
Adjust the thermostat on your hot water heater to medium or below 50 degrees
Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit).
When running a bath, put the cold water in
first, then add hot water.
Thousands of Canadians are rushed to hospital every year as a
result of scalds. But most of these injuries could have been prevented. The vast
majority of injuries are suffered in the home and those most at risk are young
children and the elderly.
Test Your Taps
Many scald injuries can be prevented simply by turning down the temperature of
your hot water heater. If it's much over 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees
Fahrenheit) it's hot enough to burn. For example, it takes only one second to
receive a serious third degree burn from water that is heated to 69 degrees
Celsius. Using the dial on your hot water heater is a guessing game. To be sure
the temperature of your water is safe, run the tap on full hot for 3 minutes and
test the water with a meat thermometer. If it's too hot, adjust it downward and
check it again the next day.
Babes Are Easily Burned
Data collected from the emergency rooms of 15 Canadian hospitals found that
children less than 2 years of age represented 68% of all those scalded aged 6
and younger. And of those little ones who were burned, half received injuries to
their feet and legs as they were placed into bath water. Run cold water first
and add warmer water to it. Check the bath first. 38 degrees Celsius is warm
enough. Avoid distractions while bathing baby. Take the phone off the hook if
Sensible Around Steam
Steam burns are very painful and easy to avoid. Put the kettle on the back
burner or back from the edge of the countertop. Children think steam looks fun
to touch. Another common source of steam burns are microwave ovens. Hot food
will give off steam as it is removed from the oven and shrink wrap is peeled off
or container lids are lifted. Poke holes in the wrapping or crack the lid open
to let off steam. Use oven mitts to protect your hands.
Stop The Burn From Spreading
Scalds should be treated like other burns, by running cold water over them and
then seeking medical attention. Never put ointment, butter or lotion on a scald.
Keep Kids Safe
-Teach children that appliances which create heat are unsafe for them to touch.
That goes for kettles, toasters, irons, coffee makers, space heaters, light
bulbs, radiators and more.
-Never leave matches and lighters out and available to children. They are almost
certain to try to see how they work. It is best to hide matches and lighters
away and lock them up when they're not being used.
-Install safety covers on unused electrical outlets. This will prevent small
children from sticking something made out of metal into them.
-In the event of fire, get children and everyone else in the house outside
immediately...and keep them out.
-Cool a burn with cool water. This prevents the burn from spreading and provides
relief for the pain. Run the water for 10 to 15 minutes over the burned area.
Never use ice as it can cause further damage to the burned tissue. Third degree
burns can be cooled using wet sterile dressings.
-Do not use anything greasy to treat a burn. It has been proven that butter or
ointment keeps heat in, worsening the burn.
-Don't break blisters. If germs get into the wound, infection can set in.
-Cover the burn after cooling it down. Apply a clean, dry dressing to the
-Remove any burned clothing that isn't stuck to the victim's skin. Remove
jewelry or tight clothing from the vicinity of the wound before swelling sets
-Keep the victim's body temperature stable to prevent shock. Use a dry blanket
to cover unburned areas.