Young children are inherently curious, and they tend to explore their environment without much caution. They may still not realize that not all objects are safe to the touch. A young child may still not know that even a cup of hot coffee, has the potential to cause third-degree burns.

Around 60-75% of burn cases occur in children who are younger than five years old. And many of the cases are due to scald burns, which is a type of burn caused by hot liquid or steam. It is then crucial that parents take measures, so that children are safe in their very own homes. After all, more than 80% of these incidents can be prevented.

Here are some ways on how you can prevent burns in children:

1. Always set your water temperature at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Make it a habit to test bath water temperature before you give your child a bath. It is also equally important that you supervise your young child during a bath. Never allow children to play with faucet or fixtures to prevent hot water scalds.

2. Install anti-scald plumbing devices in faucets and shower heads in your home. These are very helpful in preventing scalds due to hot tap water in children.

3. Safely store lighters and matches out of your child’s reach. These should be stored in locked cabinets to prevent curious hands from exploring these objects. Let your child know that matches and lighters are not toys, and they should never play with these because of its potential to cause burns and fires.

4. Hot drinks and foods should never be left unattended. A temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit can cause third degree burns in children. And it only takes one second for the injury to occur. Typically, a hot cup of coffee can even have a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, it is never safe to leave a cup of coffee, and even other hot foods for that matter, unattended while children are around.

5. Prevent hot spills in the kitchen. Always turn the handles of pots and pans inward, and do not use tablecloths or large placemats to set hot food items. A young child may grab and pull these, which may cause burns due to hot spills. Likewise, hot foods and drinks should be placed on the center of the table or counter, and never on the edges.

6. Try to establish an “off limits” area in your home. Children should never go near the stove because of its great potential to cause burn injuries. It may also be safer if you use the rear burners for cooking. Make sure that the common food items that your child may need are stored elsewhere, so they really have no reason to go near the restricted area.

7. Always make sure that you sample warm food before serving. This is particularly important for food heated in the microwave. The microwave has the tendency to heat things unevenly, and it may cause burns to the mouth. Be very cautious with items like popcorn bags fresh out of the microwave. These have the potential to cause steam burns when opened too soon.

8. Be very careful in using clothing irons, hair curling irons, grills, and other equipments at home that may cause burns. These equipments still have the potential to cause burns even while cooling. Children should never be left unsupervised, while these are being used.

9. Choose flame retardant clothing for your child. Polyester garments or treated cotton are safe choices because these don’t easily catch fire. It is not advisable for children to wear loose fitting clothing because these may be flammable.

10. Make sure that all electrical outlets in your home are covered with outlet protectors or safety caps. Electrical cords should also be kept out children’s reach. These have the potential to cause electrical burns, and children should never be allowed to handle these items.

While there are many common household objects that may cause burns, parents can prevent these accidental injuries by properly supervising children. In addition, parents should continuously strive to make the home a safe haven for kids, as they go about their different milestones.