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Microwave ovens unsafe for kids

Microwave ovens pose a serious safety hazard to young children.

Microwave ovens unsafe for kids

Microwave ovens pose a serious safety hazard to young children. Researchers from America studied 140 children below 5 years of age who were admitted with scald burns to investigate the mechanism of significant scald burns and to discover insights into prevention. Two types of patterns of injuries were discovered; one was burns due to water heaters and the other due to microwave ovens. It was found that, out of 140 children with scald injuries, 118 children had unintentional injuries. Of those unintentional injuries 14 were tap water scalds and 104 were non-tap water scalds. Out of non-tap water scalds, 94 scalds were related to hot cooking or drinking liquids. Nine children between the ages of 18 months and 4 years were scalded after opening a microwave oven and removing the hot substance themselves. Seventeen children were scalded while an older child 7 to 14 years of age, was cooking or carrying the scalding substance or supervising the younger child. Efforts to prevent scald injuries focus on asking parents to turn down their water heaters so that water temperature never exceeds 120 degrees. For injuries caused due to microwave, it was suggested to install mechanisms to prevent children from opening a microwave after something had been heated to prevent injuries. It could be difficult to keep young children away from kitchen hazards, especially if an adult is alone at home and trying to cook dinner. Tap water scalds represent just a fraction of scald injuries overall; but hot foods or liquids from microwave ovens were the fourth leading cause of scald injuries in children under 5 years old. The researchers suggested that parents should teach their children that the microwave is a potential source of danger as much as the stove is.
Pediatrics
October 2008
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