Keeping kids safe around the fireplace
Every year, more than 18,000 children are treated in the ER for burns from contact with a fireplace, chimney, or fireplace equipment. Most burn-related injuries occur with children under the age of six. Young children are more at risk for several reasons. They can be unsteady as they learn to walk, often using surfaces within their reach to pull up. Little ones have slower reflexes and many not be able to move their hands away quickly when they touch something hot. They also have thinner skin on their palms, which can lead to more serious burn injuries.
Here are a few preventive tips for families with young children at risk for fireplace related burns:
- Watch children around ALL fireplaces.
- Install a safety screen or safety gate around the fireplace.
- Keep gas start remote controls out of reach so that gas fireplaces aren’t turned on accidently.
- Be aware that glass of a fireplace door can heat up to more than 200 degrees in approximately six minutes.
- Think about other places with fireplaces, such as restaurants, hotels, or cabins. Fire can fascinate young children and attract them, especially if it’s something they don’t see often.
- Test smoke detectors monthly that they are working. Create and practice a fire escape plan. With gas fireplaces, make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector in the home as well.
- If there’s an emergency, call 911.
If your child gets burned, follow these tips:
- Cool the burn: wash under cool (not cold) water.
- Contact your health care provider or visit one of our walk-in care clinics.
To learn more about our pediatric surgery & trauma services, visit logan.org/children.