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Don’t feel the burn!

According to the American Burn Association (ABA), every year over 500,000 serious burn injuries occur in the United States that require medical treatment.  Serious scald and contact burns are very dangerous and can be prevented. A scald injury can happen at any age. Children, older adults and people with disabilities are especially at risk. Hot liquids from bath water, hot coffee and even microwaved soup can cause devastating injuries. Scald burns are the second leading cause of all burn injuries. Tap water scalds are often more severe than cooking-related scalds. Anti-scald devices can simply and inexpensively be installed on most existing taps in showers, bathtubs and sinks. These are especially beneficial for people living in multi- family or apartment buildings when the family is unable to lower the temperature of the water heater. 

Contact burns are thermal burns where the person has come into direct contact with hot objects.  Examples include burns from contact with a hot stove or pan and burns from contact with portable heating appliances. Ensure you are protecting yourself with oven mitts, shoes and proper clothing to avoid a contact burn.


Treat a burn right away. Cool the burn with cool water for 3–5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Get medical help if needed.

Action Steps You Can Take

  • Supervise children around hot objects at all times. 
  • Stand at least 3 feet away from hot outdoor objects. 
  • Protect your feet from hot objects by wearing shoes when walking on hot pavement or sand. Keep pets off hot pavement too. 
  • Turn heating pads and blankets off before sleep 
  • Treat items coming from the microwave as you would items from the oven. 
  • Test the water at the faucet. It should be less than 100° Fahrenheit (38° Celsius). 
  • Never hold a child while you are cooking, drinking a hot liquid, or carrying hot foods or liquids. 
  • Choose pre-packaged soups whose containers have a wide base or, to avoid the possibility of a spill, pour the soup into a traditional bowl after heating. 
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried. 
  • Glass fireplace doors remain hot for 1 hour+ after use. Make sure fireplace on switches and remote controls are out of the reach of children. 

You can download and print this Burn & Scald Prevention flier for more information.