Hot coffee, boiling water from the stove, hot tap water - scalds from hot liquids, not fire, are the most common cause of burns to children, according to the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund.
“Most adults realize that children need to be kept safe from fire or hot objects like the stove, but they do not realize that hot liquids are just as dangerous,” says Jason Milne, Burn Fund Director and Chair of the Burn Awareness Week Program. “Hot liquids burn just like fire.”
In British Columbia, on average 280 children are hospitalized for scald burns and thousands more are treated in emergency departments.
Children’s skin is thinner and more sensitive. A child’s skin burns four times more quickly and more deeply than an adult’s skin at the same temperature. Most home hot water heaters in Canada are set at 60° Celsius (140° Fahrenheit). At this temperature, a child’s skin can burn in just one second.
Kids from kindergarten through grade seven can win up to $6,000 in prize money for their schools in the annual Burn Awareness Week Poster Contest. Every entrant receives a participation prize and 50 students will win money for their elementary school or BC Ministry of Education sanctioned distance education facility.
Contest details available on the Burn Fund website.