I never realized how badly a child could get burned from hot coffee. I love coffee! I look forward to waking up in the morning to have that first fresh cup of coffee. When my children were babies, I was very aware of how clumsy I can be and kept my hot coffee out of reach. But, when my children were older, I became complacent, and we had a major spill, burn.
I had just poured a fresh cup of hot coffee and placed it on the counter, as I turned to get the creamer out of the fridge, my 5 year old climbed onto the counter and spilled the coffee onto his shirtless, 10 year old brother, who was on the other side of the counter. I heard a scream that sent chills up my spine and knew, this can’t be good!!
Luckily, his burn healed rather quickly and there isn’t a scar, but I have a few new grey hairs, and much more awareness…
Here are a few tips to help you keep your baby, and young children safe.
- Never carry baby in your arms or in a sling, while carrying hot liquids or cooking.
- Most hot water injuries happen in the bathroom, so set your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and check the bath water with your wrist or elbow before bathing baby.
- Avoid using a microwave to heat breast milk or formula. Liquids heated in a microwave, heat unevenly and create hot spots. Instead heat bottle in warm water, then check that it’s an appropriate temperature before giving to the baby.
- Install barriers or safety gates around fire places, furnaces and ovens.
- Childproof electrical outlets and appliances. Keep cords out of reach!
- Use the back burners of your stove and keep all handles turned inward so little hands can pull them down.
- Teach older kids how to cook safely, instructing them to use pot holders and oven mitts and how to use the microwave safely.
- Fire and burns go together, so install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Keep all space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything flammable. Blow out all candles and keep lighters and matches out of reach.
- And lastly, teach your children to walk around the counters, not over them!