Scald Safety

Did you know? When microwaving food, steam inside covered containers can quickly reach over 200°F and burn your hands and face. Pro Tip: Puncture plastic wrap or use vented containers to allow steam to escape while cooking. Or, wait at least one minute before removing the cover. When removing covers, lift the corner farthest from you and away from your face and hands.

A scald injury can happen at any age. Children, older adults and people with disabilities are especially at risk. Hot liquids from bath water, hot coffee and even microwaved soup can cause devastating injuries. Scald burns are the second leading cause of all burn injuries.

It can happen in a splash
  • Teach children that hot things can burn. Install anti-scald devices on tub faucets and shower heads.
  • Always supervise a child in or near a bathtub.
  • Test the water at the faucet. It should be less than 100° Fahrenheit (38° Celsius).
  • Before placing a child in the bath or getting in the bath yourself, test the water.
  • Test the water by moving your hand, wrist and forearm through the water. The water should feel warm, not hot, to the touch.
  • Place hot liquids and food in the center of a table or toward the back of a counter.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Open microwaved food slowly, away from the face.
  • Never hold a child while you are cooking, drinking a hot liquid, or carrying hot foods or liquids.
  • Never heat a baby bottle in a microwave oven. Heat baby bottles in warm water from the faucet.
  • Allow microwaved food to cool before eating.
  • Choose prepackaged soups whose containers have a wide base or, to avoid the possibility of a spill, pour the soup into a traditional bowl after heating.

For more information on scald injuries, visit flashsplash.org or NFPA.org.