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The First Aid And Prevention Of Scalding

Mar 25, 2008
You're cooking in the kitchen then turn away just for a second , you hear a sound, turn around and your toddler is reaching for the boiling water on the stove. You get the water in the shower at just the right temperature, step in, and someone down the hall flushes the toilet. Wam! The water turns so hot you can't get out fast enough. Scalds, it can happen in an instant.

Most scaldings happen with small children under the age of 5, the elderly and those physically challenged. It only take a water temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit to become scalding, depending on the age of the victim and the area affected. Every year more than 100 thousand people are rushed to the emergency room for first aid treatment of scald burns, a small percentage of them will need hospitalized.

Scalding is a second-degree burn which is deeper and results in blistering or worse. Scalding with hot water or very severe sunburn are common instances of second-degree burns. It can be a burn injury caused by exposure to hot fluids or gasses such as hot water, cooking oil, or steam. In some instances, all it may take is some minor first aid treatment.

Did you know if you were exposed to water at a temperature of 140 degrees F no matter what age, you could be scalded. It can happen in less than 10 seconds. That is why you must be cautious when in facilities such as hospitals or other medical centers where they need hot water to kill the spread of bacteria. Usually the water in their laundry and diswashers are set at that high of a temperature.

If you move into a new residence, check the hot water tank thermostat. If you are unable to adjust the temperature yourself, contact your local health department or fire department, they will come and assess how your hot water tank is working and how hot the water is. There is no charge for this service. The best way in first aid prevention of such burns at home is to set your hot water tank at 120 degrees F.

Another way of first aid prevention of scalds that come from cooking is. When a child that doesn't know any better will reach onto the stove and tip over a pan of hot liquid. To prevent this, always place cooking utensils on the back burners of the stove when using. This will prevent your child from grabbing them. It is also wise to teach your child that the stove top is a dangerous thing.

Never place your body directly into water until you test the water to be sure of the temperature. Always test a baby's water with your wrist before placing them in the water. A baby's skin is very sensitive to heat and can scald in seconds. There are now temperature controls that can be placed on many hot water lines to help prevent scalding in showers and in sink taps, when someone else uses cold water in another part of the home.

If blistering occures on the scaled area, DO NOT BREAK the blisters. The best thing to do if it is a minor burn is to apply cold water or ice to the burned area for a minimum of 5 minutes. Don't allow the burned area to turn numb as this could cause frostbite. If this is a minor burn, the use of acetaminophen such as Tylenol can be used to reduce pain, the use of cream or sprays are not recommended.

First aid may not be the answer if it's a serious burn. Either contact or drive to the nearest medical facility immediately. Don't put the affected area under water. You may need to see a doctor and a antibiotics may be needed.

To your understanding of first aid and prevention,

Dana Drewer
About the Author
All That You Ever Wanted to Know about First Aid Treatment , but never asked, and the facts of First Aid Burn Treatment and by what means, ease your hurt. Download your free copy of our special report!
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