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Scald Burns Are Easy to Prevent

Burn Awareness Week runs from February 2 to 8

Post Date:02/04/2020 10:13 AM

Medicine Hat – Medicine Hat Fire Services is sharing tips to prevent scald burns during National Burn Awareness Week.

‘It can happen in a flash with a splash’ is the theme of the campaign, designed to remind parents and caregivers that it only takes one mistake to have long-term injuries.

Burn Awareness Week runs from Sunday, February 2 to Saturday, February 8.

There is growing concern among first responders over the increase in liquid and steam burns, also referred to as scald burns. 84% of scald burns happen at home and can be prevented. According to the American Burn Association, oftentimes these injuries involve children.

“If you think liquid and steam isn’t dangerous, think again,” said Curtis Noble, Fire Prevention Officer with the Medicine Hat Fire Service. “It only takes two seconds of exposure to 148°F/64°C water to cause a burn serious enough to require surgery.”

Inadequate supervision and risk perception are common factors which can contribute to scald burn injuries in children.

To prevent severe steam burns from occurring in your home, follow these tips:

  • Set your water heater at 120°F/48°C, or just below the medium setting
  • Use a thermometer to test the water coming out of your bath water tap
  • Run your hand through bath water to test for hot spots
  • Use the back burners and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so children cannot pull them down
  • Use oven mitts when cooking or handling hot food and drinks
  • Stir and test food cooked in a microwave before serving and open heated containers away from you
  • Keep children away from the stove when cooking by using a safety gate for younger children and marking with tape a 3-foot “no-kid zone” for older children
  • Keep hot drinks away from the edge of tables and counters and avoid using tablecloths and placemats
  • Use a “travel mug” with a tight-fitting lid for all hot drinks
  • Never hold or carry a child while you have a hot drink in your hand

For more information about Burn Awareness Week, visit

To find out more about programs provided by the Medicine Hat Fire Service, visit the City website.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Curtis Noble
Fire Prevention Officer
City of Medicine Hat

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