DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — This week is Burn Awareness Week, and Shriners Children’s in Dayton is sharing ways to prevent kids from getting seriously injured.
One mother is also sharing the story of what happened to her young daughter as a cautionary tale.
Earlier this year, Maha Kashani and her family sat down for dinner at one of their favorite restaurants.
“They brought the food out, they said, ‘Hey plate’s hot’,” Kashani said. “I immediately turned to my toddler and said, ‘Ah, don’t touch, it’s hot’ and see that she has her palm directly pressed into the skillet.”
At first, they weren’t sure if baby Lara had actually burned herself, but then she started to cry.
“So, we get home and realize wow, there’s a really huge blister there, and it’s on the palm of her hand. I’m not really sure what to do,”
After two doctor’s visits, they learned that Lara had a second-degree burn, and eventually ended up in Shriner’s Children’s for care.
Dr. Petra Warner treats burns at Shriners Children’s. According to Dr. Warner, Lara suffered from a contact burn, but nearly 40 percent of all burns treated at the Dayton Hospital in 2022 were scalds. They are often caused by hot liquid or steam, and that can happen in any home or kitchen — not just in a restaurant.
Warner said children younger than 5 are twice as likely to be seen for burn injuries at an emergency department.
“They’re just curious, they want to explore stuff, and while doing that they can cause injury to themselves without realizing it,” Warner said.
Dr. Warner said it’s best to keep kids three feet from anything you are doing in the kitchen. This prevents kids from potentially falling or touching a hot panel on an open stove. It also keeps you from bumping into your kids and spilling something hot on them.
Unfortunately, burns do happen, and what you do next is important.
“So, you do want to get the clothes off as quickly as possible, because if they’re saturated, they will have that item of either grease or water in contact longer with the skin.”
Put something cool on the burn, then something clean, like a towel or blanket, before seeking medical attention.
Lara burned her hand right before a family trip to Mexico, so getting the proper supplies from Shriner’s was important.
“They took awesome care of her. The blister had not popped yet, so they were able to get the blister popped in a sterile environment, get it all cleaned out, teach me how to wrap,” Kashani said. “We could have some confidence going to another country that we could take of our child, and we wouldn’t have to deal with a major infection.”
Kashani said she hopes her story will help other parents.
“So just being mindful when you have multiple children, that anything can happen, and it happens so fast. But if it does happen, that we have a great resource here in town, and that you don’t have to beat yourself up, and you can get fantastic care here locally.”
Here are the tips that Shriner’s shared to keep children safe:
Be Safe in the Kitchen
• Never leave the kitchen while cooking. If you have to leave the room, take your children
with you and watch them at all times.
• Establish a “kid-free zone” 3 feet around the stove and all areas where food and drink
• Cook with pots on back burners and turn handles in.
• Test heated foods and liquids before serving to children.
• Do not cook or carry hot items while holding a child.
• Keep hot items away from edges of counters or tables.
• Use placemats instead of tablecloths. A tablecloth can be hazardous if a young child
pulls on it while hot food is on the table.
• Never allow children to handle microwaved containers until they have cooled off
enough to be touched and remind them to open food slowly.
• Remind children that foods and liquids heated in the microwave may be much hotter
than their containers.
• Microwave popcorn bags should never be opened right away; steam released from the
bag can cause a burn in seconds.
Be Safe in the Bathroom
• Set the water heater temperature no hotter than 120°F.
• When filling the bathtub, run cold water first.
• Always test bathwater with your wrist or elbow before placing a child into the tub.
• If possible, install anti-scald devices on water faucets and shower heads, which will
automatically shut off the water if the temperature becomes too hot.
• Face a child in the bathtub away from faucets.
• Never leave children alone in the bathtub.
• Use knob covers on faucets, so children are unable to manipulate the faucet and turn it
How to Treat a Scald Burn
• Immediately remove the child from the heat source.
• Remove any clothing from the area that has been burned. Do not attempt to remove
clothing or anything else stuck to their skin.
• Run cool water over the burn to help decrease the pain.
• Apply a gauze bandage or place a clean, soft cloth or towel over the burn. Do not wrap
the burn tightly; instead cover it loosely.
• Do not apply any ointments, butter, sprays or other treatments to the burned area.
They can actually make it worse.
• If you see blisters in the burned area, do not break them.
• Do not put ice on a burn
If your child receives a burn of any kind that requires urgent care, Shriners Children’s can
help. You can contact their specialty burn care hospital at (855)-206-2096 or reach out online here.