Doctor Explains Pediatric Burn Dangers in the Kitchen

Published 03/18 2014 05:28PM

Updated 03/18 2014 06:14PM

By Michaela MacDonald

LUBBOCK, TX --   Dr. Sharmila Dissanaike says every year, the UMC Burn Center sees lots of kids come in with noodle burns, so many that some doctors even call it "Ramen Noodle Syndrome." But she set out to see if noodles burns really are the most common.

"We did look into it because it was so commonly talked about to see is there something about noodles that is dangerous," said Dissanaike.

Dissanaike put noodles to the test. Over the course of five years she studied what was causing the most burns in children on the South Plains. Turns out noodles are number four. 

"We found that soup was the biggest culprit in burning our children. More than ramen noodles, we still get ramen noodle injuries but there doesn't seem to be anything particular about the noodles that are to blame," said Dissanaike.

She also tested the cooling curve of popular food items and found the denser the substance, the longer it takes to cool.

"We looked at all the substances that had burned our children in this area and that ranged from corn to beans to noodles, coffee tea and menudo and we looked at how long it took to cool to a safe temperature," she said.

Dissanaike says parents of young children are usually aware of burning hazards in the bathtub, but they often don't realize the dangers in the kitchen.

"In general just not having children around when you are actively cooking if they are at that toddler age is wise. We found that the age range for the most number of cooking injuries is between 1 and 3 years so it is really the toddlers who are most at risk," she said.

Dissanaike says if your child gets burned the first thing to do is to wash off the burning substance, then wrap them in a clean warm blanket and seek medical attention.

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