With home-cooked meals and chestnuts roasting on open fires, children’s health and safety are high priorities. For many, the holidays can bring plenty of hustle and bustle, making it easy for accidents to happen.
“We often forget about how quickly little hands can injure themselves,” said Kate Anhut, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, for the Wound, Ostomy, Gastrostomy & Cecostomy Tube Care team at Lurie Children’s. “This is the busiest time of the year when it comes to burn care for our pediatric patients.”
The last thing any parent wants to worry about this season is having to bring their child to the emergency room for a severe burn. Here are a few tips from our Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to help prevent children from getting burned over the holidays:
- Do not allow school-aged or younger children to remove heated food from the stove, microwave, or oven.
- Keep hot foods and liquids out of reach and pushed as far back on the counters as possible.
- Allow for hot food or liquids to sit out for a few minutes before feeding them to children.
- Be cautious of tablecloths, placemats, napkins, countertops, and cooling racks. Children can easily spill heated food while trying to grab a container or plate. “Spilling food or liquids is the most common reason we see burns on the face, chest or belly,” said Kate.
- Look around for children before moving heated food from surface to surface in the kitchen. “Children often run into rooms or play on the floor. It is easy for them to collide with a relative and have a hot beverage or food spilled on the child,” said Kate.
- While supervising, teach teens and young adults how to use oven mitts appropriately.
In the event that a burn does occur, Lurie Children’s provides burn care for patients who arrive at the Kenneth and Anne Griffin Emergency Care Center with minor injuries. Every child treated in the Emergency Care Center is then also referred to our outpatient wound clinic. APRNs in the clinic will see the child within 24 to 48 hours after they were initially treated. Our Wound, Ostomy, Gastrostomy & Cecostomy Tube Care clinic has the largest pediatric focused wound care team in Illinois in order to provide timely and expert care to all burn patients.
We wish you a healthy and burn-free season. Happy Holidays from Lurie Children’s!