Scald injuries tend to be less damaging than other types of burns but can still be dangerous. Children are at the highest risk of sustaining scald injuries, as they lead the injury and hospitalization count related to scald burns. These burns are caused from steam or hot liquids and can also be caused by fireworks. While these are less dangerous than other types of burns, such as chemical burns or explosions, their high prevalence among children warrants mention. Statistics demonstrate that for children under the age of 5, scalds make up 90% of burn injuries.
Many children will be unable to articulate the situation or true extent of their injuries in the aftermath of a scald burn. For these reasons, it’s important for adults to ascertain as much as possible about the situation and seek medical attention immediately. Fireworks explosions result in many injuries surrounding the hands, fingers, legs, and face. Children are also more likely to suffer shock in the time following a burn, so regardless of the perceived severity of the burn, the injuries sustained may be deeper than they appear. Scald injuries can also result in diminished mental capacity and physical impairments. The full extent of the injuries can be measured by considering how long the initial contact was, the depth of the burn damage under the skin, and the age of the person involved.
As with residential fires, the majority of scald burns occur in the kitchen surrounding the act of cooking, although hot water related incidents also peaked towards the top of the list.
There are important codes related to households and plumbing in order to limit these incidents, such as newly constructed homes having a limit of 120 degrees in water temperature. If this plumbing fails, children may suffer dangerous scald injuries.