Officials at the IWK Health Centre say they're seeing more children burned in household accidents in Nova Scotia, prompting renewed warnings for parents.
In the past year, the burn team at the Halifax hospital has treated almost 60 kids. Most of them were injured when they touched hot objects or hot liquid spilled on them.
"Many of these children have gone on to develop severe scars that have a lifelong impact on their appearance and function," Dr. Michael Bezuhly, the head of plastic surgery at the IWK Health Centre, said in a statement.
"For the most part, these injuries are preventable."
A spokesperson for the hospital said 23 infants and toddlers have been burned by wood stoves, propane stoves and fireplaces since April 1, 2015.
That's a slightly higher rate than the previous year, when 24 infants and toddlers suffered burns between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015.
"Many parents are aware of what they have done to keep their child safe in their own home, but it's common to overlook what might need to be done to keep their child safe in someone else's home," Chantal Walsh, a health promotion specialist with Child Safety Link, said in a statement.
"While your own home has a gate around the fireplace to keep your child from touching it, the friend's place you're visiting may not."
Tips from Child Safety Link to protect children from household burns:
- Keep small children away from fireplaces, portable heaters and wall heaters.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
- Block off the area in front of heaters with secured screens and gates.
- Turn pot handles in on the stove and use back burners whenever possible, and keep hot liquids and appliance cords out of reach on countertops and other surfaces.
- Ensure your hot water heater is set below 49 C.
- Do not hold hot beverages and babies at the same time.
- Keep irons (including curling irons and hair straighteners) out of reach of young children.
- Do not leave young children unattended around barbecue grills and campfires.