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Facts About Burn Safety

burn safety Burns are among the most devastating and painful injuries for children.  Last year, over 850 children were treated for burns at Children’s National Medical Center.  Over 250 of those kids required hospitalization to treat their injuries.

Keep your children safe with these tips:

Burn Safety for Infants 0 to 12 months
English | En Español

Burn Safety for infants is a critical part of home safety. Parents, grandparents, baby sitters, and other care givers must protect babies even before they begin to crawl and walk.

Keep your baby safe with these tips

  • Set your hot water heater at 120° or lower. Ask family, friends, and other care givers to do the same if your baby spends a lot of time in other peoples’ homes.
  • Always test bath water before putting your baby in the water.
  • Don’t hold your baby when cooking or carrying hot liquids or food.
  • Put lids on all hot drinks.
  • Never microwave a bottle.
  • Create a safe zone for your baby when cooking or ironing using a gate or playpen, or put your infant in a high chair or swing.
  • Keep electrical cords away from your baby.
  • Use plug covers to ensure your baby doesn’t stick his or her fingers or metal objects in electrical sockets.

Fire Prevention Tips
Install smoke detectors and check batteries each fall and spring with time changes.

  • Practice a fire escape plan with your family.
  • Be sure to assign someone to carry the baby during an emergency escape.

Summer Burn and Fire Prevention Tips

  • Keep your baby out of the sun until he or she is 6 months old.
  • After 6 months, limit the time your baby is in the sun, and use sunscreen made for infant skin.
  • Keep your baby away from fire pits and grills.

Winter Burn and Fire Prevention Tips

  • Keep candles out of your baby’s reach.  Avoid any surface the baby can reach by crawling or reaching up.
  • Limit your use of space heaters and fireplaces.
  • If you do use a fireplace or space heater, make sure you have a barrier, such as a metal gate, to prevent your baby from touching it.

Burns are among the most painful injuries children can suffer.
If your child suffers a burn, act immediately by taking these steps:

  • Remove all clothing that is not stuck to injured area.  Remove only the clothing that comes away easily. Be careful not to pull or pry fabric.
  • Put cool (not cold) water or a wet cloth on the burn area.
  • Do not put butter or mayonnaise on burn area.
  • Take your child to an emergency room if:
    • Blisters are present;
    • The skin is broken; or
    • The burn is on a hand or crosses a joint – for example an elbow, wrist, or knee.
  • Otherwise, take your child to his or her primary care provider.
  • Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Follow the directions for the correct dosage.
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Burn Safety for Children ages 1 to 4 years old
English | En Español

Burn safety for toddlers is a critical part of home safety – especially when little ones begin walking. Parents, grandparents, baby sitters, and other care givers must protect young child at all times. Keep your child safe with these tips:

Burn Safety Tips

  • Set hot water heater at 120° or lower.
  • Create a “ kids free” zone around stove and fireplace.
  • Cook with pots and pans on back burners.
  • Place hot liquids and food in center of table.
  • Avoid using tablecloths.
  • Put lids on all hot drinks.

Fire prevention Tips

  • Install smoke detectors and check batteries each fall and spring with time changes. Make and practice an escape plan with your child.
  • Lock up matches and lighters.
  • Don’t play with matches, lighters, or fireworks. If children see you doing this, they will think it is okay for them to do so, too.

Summer Burn Safety and Fire Prevention Tips

  • Limit the time your child spends in the sun, and use sunscreen. For young children, use PABA free sunscreen with SPF greater then 30.  Reapply according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep your child away from fire pits and grills.
  • Keep lighter fluid, matches, gasoline and other flammables away from your child.
  • Do not use fireworks or sparklers.
  • Encourage your child to wear shoes, especially when walking or playing on hot asphalt.
  • Test the temperature of play equipment before your child uses it. Playground equipment can get very hot in the sun.

Winter Burn Safety and Fire Prevention Tips

  • Keep candles out of your child’s reach.
  • Limit the use of space heaters and fireplaces.
  • Keep candle and fireplace flames away from holiday decorations.

Burns are among the most painful injuries children can suffer.
If your child suffers a burn, act immediately by taking these steps:

  • Remove all clothing that is not stuck to injured area.  Remove only the clothing that comes away easily. Be careful not to pull or pry fabric.
  • Put cool (not cold) water or a wet cloth on the burn area.
  • Do not put butter or mayonnaise on burn area.
  • Take your child to an emergency room if:
    • Blisters are present;
    • The skin is broken; or
    • The burn is on a hand or crosses a joint – for example an elbow, wrist, or knee.
  • Otherwise, take your child to his or her primary care provider.
  • Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Follow the directions for the correct dosage.

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Burn Safety for Children 5 to 9 years old
English | En Español

Between the ages of 5 and 9, children begin to take responsibility for their own actions and are ready to learn about safety and preventing injuries. Parents can help by modeling good behavior and teaching children about burn safety

Burn Safety Tips

  • Set hot water heater at 120° or lower.
  • Supervise children around the stove and microwave.
  • Pay special attention to microwaved drinks, soups, and noodles – containers easily tip over and containers can turn soft when heated.
  • Place hot liquids and food in center of table.
  • Supervise children using hot appliances such as irons, curling irons, or hair straighteners.
  • Don’t ask children in plug appliances in for you.

Fire Prevention Tips

  • Create, discuss, and practice a fire escape plan.
  • Install and check smoke detectors.
  • Don’t play with matches, lighters, or fireworks – be a good example.

Summer Burn Safety and Fire Prevention Tips

  • Put sunscreen on your children, and use it yourself to set a good example. Remember to re-apply after activities and swimming.
  • Never use fireworks or sparklers.
  • Practice safety around fire pits and grills.

Winter Burn Safety and Fire Prevention Tips

  • Keep candles out of reach.
  • Maintain a safety zone around space heaters and fireplaces.

Burns are among the most painful injuries children can suffer.
If your child suffers a burn, act immediately by taking these steps:

  • Remove all clothing that is not stuck to injured area.  Remove only the clothing that comes away easily. Be careful not to pull or pry fabric.
  • Put cool (not cold) water or a wet cloth on the burn area.
  • Do not put butter or mayonnaise on burn area.
  • Take your child to an emergency room if:
    • Blisters are present;
    • The skin is broken; or
    • The burn is on a hand or crosses a joint – for example an elbow, wrist, or knee.
  • Otherwise, take your child to his or her primary care provider.
  • Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Follow the directions for the correct dosage.    

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Burn Safety for Early Adolescents 10 to 14 years old
English | En Español

Early adolescents are more independent and should be empowered to make good choices. Parents can help children ages 10 to 14 by reinforcing positive behavior and continuing as a safety role model. 

Burn Safety Tips

  • Keep curling irons and flat irons away from things that burn and water sources, and off the floor.
  • Teach young adolescents how to safely use the stove, oven, and microwave.
  • Make sure children know how to protect younger siblings from burns.
  • Use extra caution when using hot water when styling hair to  prevent forehead and back burns.

Fire Prevention Tips

  • Discuss and practice a fire escape plan.
  • Install and check smoke detectors.
  • Discuss fire safety – lighting fires, covering lamps and flammable room decorations.
  • Never leave a candle unattended – don’t allow candles in children's bedrooms.

Summer Burn Safety and Fire Prevention Tips

  • Put sunscreen on your children, and use it yourself to set a good example.
  • Remember to re-apply after activities and swimming.
  • Never use fireworks or sparklers.
  • Practice safety around fire pits and grills.

Winter Burn Safety and Fire Prevention Tips

  • Use candles sparingly.
  • Maintain a safety zone around space heaters and fireplaces.

Burns are among the most painful injuries children can suffer.
If your child suffers a burn, act immediately by taking these steps:

  • Remove all clothing that is not stuck to injured area.  Remove only the clothing that comes away easily. Be careful not to pull or pry fabric.
  • Put cool (not cold) water or a wet cloth on the burn area.
  • Do not put butter or mayonnaise on burn area.
  • Take your child to an emergency room if:
    • Blisters are present;
    • The skin is broken; or
    • The burn is on a hand or crosses a joint – for example an elbow, wrist, or knee.
  • Otherwise, take your child to his or her primary care provider.
  • Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Follow the directions for the correct dosage.


For additional information, visit www.childrensnational.org/burnsafety



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