Childhood burns on the rise, says IWK

Childhood burns are increasing in number, according to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, the main children's hospital for the Maritimes.

Burns can create 'severe scars that have a lifelong impact,' says doctor

Childhood burns are on the rise, say doctors at the IWK. (CBC)

Childhood burns are increasing in number, according to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, the main children's hospital for the Maritimes. 

Over the past year the burn team at the IWK has treated nearly 35 children for scald injuries caused by hot liquid spills, and 24 infants and young toddlers who have touched a hot object such as the glass of a fireplace or a heater. There is no breakdown of how many of the children treated, if any, were from P.E.I.

"Many of these children have gone on to develop severe scars that have a lifelong impact on their appearance and function. For the most part, these injuries are preventable," said Dr. Michael Bezuhly, the head of plastic surgery at the IWK, in a written release. 

Since April, there have been 19 cases of burns or scalds of children treated in Island hospitals, according to P.E.I. health officials.

The hospital's tips for parents include:

  • Turn pot handles in on the stove and use back burners whenever possible.
  • Keep hot liquids and appliance cords out of reach on countertops.
  • Ensure your hot water heater is set below 49 degrees Celsius. 
  • Do not hold hot beverages and babies at the same time.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
  • Keep irons, including curling irons and hair straighteners, out of reach of young children.
  • Keep small children away from fireplaces, portable heaters and wall heaters. Block off the area in front of heaters with secured screens and gates.
  • Do not leave young children unattended around barbecue grills and campfires.

 "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," said Chantal Walsh, IWK health promotion specialist.  


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