Chicago’s Shriners Hospital raises awareness about burn prevention

With weather like Chicago’s been having, nothing sounds as welcoming as a steaming cup of cocoa or a night curled up by the fireplace.

But heat can be a major safety concern, too, causing burns and house fires, which tick up during the winter months. This week, Feb. 6-12, is Burn Awareness Week, and Shriners Hospital for Children is sounding the alarm.

The hospital, which has a Chicago branch on Oak Park Avenue on the city’s far west side, has released materials for family safety, including a coloring book for kids. Download the free book here.

Scald burns, which are caused by hot liquids or steam, are the most common burn injury among young children and the leading cause of accidental death in the home for children under age 4. More than 95 percent of these kinds of burns occur at home.

Some tips for avoiding burns:

  • When you’re cooking, establish a kid-free zone, where young children can be watched but are safely out of the way.
  • Have a family plan for fire safety and post it on the refrigerator or another prominent location
  • Make sure you have enough smoke detectors and change the batteries when prompted. You should have one in or near each bedroom, one at the top of each stairway and one near your home’s planned escape route.
  • In the bathtub, what feels comfortable for adults may be scalding for small children, whose skin is more sensitive to heat.The water in a child’s bath should never exceed 104° F, and you may want to consider setting your water heater to no higher than 120° F.
  • Avoid area rugs in the kitchen, which can catch and quickly spread fire.

The hospital’s website offers a morecomplete guide to home safety.

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