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For Immediate Release
February 1, 2015
For more information contact:
State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan (603) 223-4289
Chief David Parenti, President NH Association of Fire Chiefs (603) 267-8333

Scalds – A Burning Issue

Every day, 300 young children with burn injuries are taken to emergency rooms. They weren't even near a flame. The children are victims of scalds. Scald burns (caused by hot liquids, steam, or foods) are the most common burn injury among children age 4 and younger. Mortality rates from scalds are highest for children under age 4. While the injuries and the numbers are distressing, even more disturbing is the fact that many of these burns could have been prevented. Consequently, in honor of Burn Awareness Week, February 1-7, 2015, State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan and Chief David Parenti, President NH Association of Fire Chiefs in conjunction with the American Burn Association are offering information relating to scald burns. "Most burn injuries occur in residences," states Marshal Degnan, "They are typically related to ordinary activities - bathing, cooking and eating, and often happen to children because of a lapse in adult supervision or a lack of protective measures."

Tap water scalds are often more severe than cooking-related scalds. The American Burn Association recommends the following simple safety tips to decrease the risk to yourself and those you love.

  • Lower the temperature settings on water heaters to 120° F (49°C) or less.
  • Install anti-scald devices on water faucets and showerheads.
  • When filling the bathtub, turn on cold water first. Mix in warmer water carefully.
  • Use knob covers on faucets.

Scalds also often occur in the kitchen or dining room. Many of these can be prevented by:

  • Using oven mitts or hot pad when cooking.
  • Turning pot handles inward.
  • Thoroughly stirring all microwaved food.
  • Never heating baby bottles in a microwave.
  • Not using deep fryers around children.

Marshal Degnan said, "These suggestions may seem obvious, but given the statistics they can't be repeated too often."

For more information about preventing scald burns, contact the American Burn Association at 312-642-9260 or

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