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Burn Injuries from Hot Liquid Drinks and Foods

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on January 29, 2013

Your morning cup of coffee. Your soup at lunch. The juices on your steak at dinner. They all have two things in common: they’re liquids and if heated to the right temperature they could cause serious injuries to you or someone you love. According to the Burn Foundation, hot liquids scald more than 500,000 people each year. Children under the age of five and adults over the age of 65 are at significant risk for suffering a scalding injury.

Different temperatures of liquids can cause different types of injuries with varying levels of severity. It’s important to understand how different injuries happen as a result of scalding liquids so you can take steps to protect yourself and those around you. In just 15 seconds, liquids at 133-degrees Fahrenheit can cause third-degree burns. Liquids at 156-degrees can cause those same burns in just one second.

Preventing Scalding Burns from Hot Liquids

Reducing your risk of being scalded by hot liquids starts with heating liquids at the lowest possible safe temperature. Many times we heat liquids at temperatures that are neither necessary for cooking or for killing off germs and bacteria. Allow liquid drinks and foods to cool appropriately before eating or giving them to the other people in your life and never cook food longer than you actually need to. Additionally, here are some other ways that you can prevent scalding burns from foods and drinks in your kitchen.

  • Keep children away from the stove while you are cooking and away from scalding liquids that are cooling.
  • Do not rush meals. Sometimes, in an effort to put dinner on the table faster, you may be tempted to cook your food at higher temperatures. But this may cause your foods to be cooked unevenly and to become too hot in many cases.
  • Don’t hold or play with your children while holding hot liquids, like coffee. The same is true of playing with pets and of multitasking.
  • Carefully move pots and pans with hot liquids and juices off of the stove so you do not drop them.

Remember, hot liquids can cause serious and permanent injuries. Keeping safety top of mind is the best way to keep your family safe.

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