KCTV 5: Dr. Pablo Aguayo provides safety tips during Burn Awareness Week
Hot drinks, ovens and candles are just a few things that can cause severe burns to children.
During Burn Awareness Week, specialists at Children’s Mercy are warning of some dangers parents and kids need to be aware of.
Children in the Kansas City area who receive a burn are oftentimes brought to Children’s Mercy. A big reason for that is the hospital's burn unit.
From Denver to St. Louis, the burn unit at Children’s Mercy is one of a kind. The facility is exclusively for children and is filled with things to keep kids calm and help them recover.
Toy machines, decorative ceilings and painted walls are just some of what can be found inside the unit. But it’s more than just toys and bright colors. Nurse Carla Nothington says working with kids in such pain also requires special medical care.
“It can hurt when it's open to air so we want to cover them quickly and want treatment to go fast, so it's not as scary or painful and no anxiety involved,” Nothington said.
More than 100 kids each year are sent to Children’s Mercy with severe burns. The hospital is equipped with child-life specialists and kid-friendly activities to distract kids while getting treated.
A special bath is used to take off bandages that cause too much pain, and a special shower is used to treat children while they are sedated.
“It hurts to pull some of the items off so you can let it soak off,” Nothington said.
Dr. Paglo Aguayo says most child burns are scalds from hot water.
“Things that happen either in the kitchen or the bathroom,” Aguayo said.
Most times, it’s a hot drink, something in the microwave like Ramen Noodles or a bath tub. Hot water will burn a child at just 148 degrees after two seconds of exposure. The average coffee or hot chocolate is served at 160-180 degrees.
Fireplaces are also a concern this time of year.
“You have these toddlers, kids that are just learning how to walk they go up to these glass plates rest their hands on them as they try to balance and they get stuck to the heat,” Aguayo said.
So what do doctors say parents should do to limit the chances of a burn?
“Parent’s shouldn’t carry kids while cooking or while holding hot coffee or hot tea,” Aguayo said.
Most importantly, always keep an eye on your children. Doctors say nearly all of the burns treated at Children’s Mercy are preventable.
Learn more about burn and trama care at Children's Mercy.