Le Lézard
Classified in: Health
Subjects: CHI, DEI

Shriners Children's Doctor Alerts Parents of Overlooked Dangers of Microwave Soups and Noodles During National Burn Awareness Week

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Shriners Children's, an internationally recognized expert in pediatric burn care, sees more than 3,000 children each year as a result of burn injuries and a majority of those are a result of scalding injuries that happen from common food items in the kitchen.

Dr. David Greenhalgh, Chief of Burns at Shriners Children's Northern California, has spent more than 35 years working with pediatric burn patients. He said over that time, improvements in regulations regarding smoke alarms and fire safety have led to fewer burn injuries caused by fire. Now, the primary culprit is scalding injuries from simple items people forget are dangerous, such as hot liquids and microwave foods. A new research study from PubMed found that instant soup and noodle products are a common cause of pediatric scald burns, potentially injuring 25 children per day in the U.S. Dr. Greenhalgh has spoken out nationally about the need for safer microwave containers for some food items, especially microwave soups and noodles. He says while convincing companies to change their packaging for products is a difficult and lengthy process, parents need to be aware of the dangers.

"Parents need to be particularly careful when giving their children microwave food and drink items like microwave mac and cheese, ramen noodles, hot chocolate and hot oil or spaghetti sauce," said Dr. Greenhalgh. "Water heated in these products can reach temperatures of well above 200 degrees Fahrenheit and children can easily spill the containers of hot liquid on themselves when they take the food out of the microwave or while eating it. Water temperatures at that level can cause third-degree scalding burns instantly, and the longer the hot water is on the child the deeper the burn can be." 

Dr. Greenhalgh said the most important rule he wants parents to remember is that if their child does experience a burn, the sooner they are treated, the better the outcome will be.

"I've been treating burns for almost 35 years now and I can look at a burn and know how it happened and how it's going to turn out," said Dr. Greenhalgh. "The care we provide at Shriners Children's is unlike any other burn care in the world. Our staff works together to provide comprehensive care for each child, whether that be physical therapy, occupational therapy or counseling on how to prevent bullying and to maintain a child's confidence. A burn scar can sometimes be things children are embarrassed about and want to hide, but we encourage our patients to be proud of who they are and what they've gone through."

If your child experiences a burn injury, Shriners Children's suggests the following:

All three Shriners Children's burn care locations across the country are accredited by the American Burn Association (ABA) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as verified pediatric burn centers. To learn more about Shriners Children's burn care, go to www.shrinerschildrens.org/en/pediatric-care/burn-care.

About Shriners Children's

Shriners Children's improves the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, conducting innovative research, and offering outstanding education programs for medical professionals. Children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care, regardless of the families' ability to pay, and receive all care and services in a compassionate, family-centered environment. For more information, please visit shrinerschildrens.org.

SOURCE Shriners Children's

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