Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Child Safety: Preventing Burns

Child Safety: Preventing Burns

Overview

Burns can happen in any home. Heat, electricity, contact with hard or rough surfaces (friction), and some common household chemicals can all cause burns. You can help protect your child by being aware of these hazards and keeping your child away from them.

Heat burns

Heat burns, also called thermal burns, are caused by contact with fire, steam, hot objects, or hot liquids. Tap water is a leading cause of nonfatal burns.

You can help protect your child from heat burns in the following ways.

  • Keep children away from kitchen appliances, irons, fireplaces, portable heaters, and wall heaters.

    Use screens to block off areas, if needed. When outdoors, keep your child away from barbecue grills and campfires.

  • Install scald-resistant faucets in sinks, showers, and bathtubs that children use.

    These fixtures have built-in thermostats to control the maximum temperature of the water. Set the thermostat so that the water temperature doesn't exceed 120°F (50°C).

  • Use kitchen range dial protectors.

    These prevent a child from turning on the heating elements of a stove.

  • Cook on the back burner with pot handles turned away from the edge of the stove.

    This can keep hot pans and their contents away from the reach of your child.

  • Be careful not to spill hot beverages when you carry or drink them around children.
  • Keep your flammable garage items out of the reach of children.
  • Enjoy fireworks from a distance.

    Fireworks injure children each summer. Children can also get burns from using and being around firecrackers and sparklers.

Electrical burns

Electrical burns are caused by contact with electrical sources or by lightning. Electrical current passing through a person's body may injure blood vessels, nerves, and muscles. Also, the throat and lungs can swell rapidly and severely, making breathing hard. The current can also damage the heart.

Protect your child around your home by using the following safety measures.

  • Place plug covers on all outlets.
  • Unplug all electrical items that are in your child's reach.
  • Use extra caution when using electrical items in areas where water sources are nearby.

    For example, be safe when using a hair dryer in the bathroom.

  • Don't let your child play with toys that must be plugged into an electrical outlet.
  • Take your child indoors and close all windows and doors during an electrical storm.
  • Don't overload electrical outlets by using too many extension cords or electrical receptacle multipliers.
  • Replace electrical equipment and appliances that show signs of wear.

    Check wires to see if they are loose or frayed.

Friction burns

Friction burns are caused by contact with any hard surface such as pavement ("road rash"), carpets, or gym floor surfaces. Most friction burns that occur in young children aren't serious. But they can be uncomfortable and painful.

You can help prevent friction burns in the following ways.

  • Avoid dragging or pulling your child across carpet while playing.
  • Provide safety equipment for physical activities.

    Two examples are knee pads and elbow pads for roller skating or riding scooters.

Chemical burns

Chemical burns need evaluation and treatment. Call the Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222 for specific treatment for a chemical burn. Have the product container with you when you call.

Burns can result from contact with a solid, powdered, or liquid chemical. A chemical burn may be serious because of the action of the corrosive or irritating chemicals on the skin. A chemical burn on the skin is often deeper and larger than it may first appear. Chemical fumes and vapors can also irritate or damage the body, especially the skin, lungs, and eyes. A swallowed chemical may be poisonous or may cause burning in the throat and esophagus.

  • Keep the following types of items completely out of reach.
    • Toilet cleaners
    • Battery acid
    • Bleach
    • Lime products
    • Plaster and mortar
    • Oven and drain cleaners
    • Fertilizers
    • Sparks from "sparklers"

If your child uses battery-operated toys, make sure the batteries are in protective casings that require assistance from an adult to open (such as casings secured with screws).

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Child Safety: Fires Burns and Electric Shock Health and Safety, Birth to 2 Years Health and Safety, Ages 2 to 5 Years

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details