KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Doctors say summer is the busiest season for a hospital’s burn unit. Besides grilling out, fireworks, and sun burns, there’s another huge risk factor.
Megan Garcia is the medical director at the Grossman Burn Center at Research Medical Center. She said scalds, or hot liquid burns, are the number one cause of burns in children.
That includes water from the hose in the summer, and it’s why experts are saying check the temperature before your child plays.
As her three-year-old runs and plays, the dangers are dancing through mom Rowena Shay Smith’s mind.
“We’re at Loose Park, just going to the splash park, enjoying the day,” Smith said.
The water temperature is something she’s always checked before any of her four children got to splash around.
“Just knowing they could be easily burned if you’re not paying attention to the water temperature,” she said.
Las Vegas Fire Rescue put out this Tweet as a reminder to parents.
Here in Las Vegas, a garden hose exposed to direct sunlight during summer can heat the water inside the hose (not flowing) to 130-140 degrees which can cause burns especially to children & animals. Let the water flow a few minutes to cool before spraying on people or animals. pic.twitter.com/FMkzEt27xl
— Las Vegas FireRescue (@LasVegasFD) June 4, 2018
Stories like this little boy’s make the rounds every summer as kids get burned from hot water — in his case, it was water from the hose.
“Think of your water hose. It’s usually a dark green or a black,” Garcia said. “It absorbs a lot of heat, so the water passing through, even if it’s cold water, will warm up.”
She said water left in a hose in the yard can quickly hit 140 or 150 degrees.
Garcia said if your child does get burned, do only one thing.
“You only want cool water. Don’t put ice on there. Please don’t put anything like butter on your burn, or mustard or milk. A lot of people think that that helps, but it does not,” Garcia said.
Smith said she’ll continue to use her eyes and her hands to protect her daughter.
“I check to make sure that it was cold and not hot because it is sitting out here,” she said. “Some of it’s in the sun, so you never know if it’s too hot. It’s hard to regulate whether it’s going to be too cold, definitely too hot. You never know.”
Garcia said the smartest thing to do is to let the water run for 3 to 4 minutes before letting your little one play in it. She also provided some first-aid and quick-care tips:
- First aid for burns includes making sure that you get away from what it is that’s burning you, such as putting out the fire or getting away from the hot liquid
- Use cool water over the burn to stop the burning process
- Don’t put anything like butter, mustard or milk on your burn. A lot of people think that that helps, but it doesn’t. You only want cool water.
- Don’t use ice. Ice can cause more damage to the already damaged tissue.
- If you see blisters coming in your burn, your burn is white, leathery, or you can’t feel the area of your burn, those need to be seen by a burn professional.
- Make sure you keep your burn wound clean. That means washing it at least once to twice daily with soap and water and keeping it covered so that bacteria can’t get in.
- Aloe Vera soothes a burn, and although it won’t hurt anything, it does not help the healing process.