State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey announced that national Burn Awareness Week is February 4-10, 2018. \u201cWhile we traditionally associate burns with fires, the leading burn problem in Massachusetts is hot liquid scalds to children under 5,\u201d said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey, \u201cRemember that hot liquids burn like fire.\u201d\n\nChildren under 5 Most at Risk of Burns; Scalds Leading Cause\n\nAccording to the Massachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System (M-BIRS), children under five account for more than one-quarter of all burn injuries. Scalds from hot beverages like coffee and tea, hot water in the tub, and spilled cooking liquids caused 84% of the burns to children under five in 2017.\n\nOn May 30, 2017, a 9-month old Waltham boy was burned when someone spilled a hot cup of tea on him. He received scald burns to 30% of his body surface area.\nTips to Prevent Scald Burns\n\nState Fire Marshal Ostroskey offers these tips to prevent burns from hot liquids:\n\n\n\tPlace babies or toddlers safely in a high chair or playpen while drinking hot coffee or tea. When holding children, put your hot beverage down, because a wiggling baby can move your arm and spill the drink.\n\t\tPut drinks and soups toward the center of the table away from curious fingers. Babies like to grab things.\n\t\tConsider replacing tablecloths with placemats to prevent children from pulling things on the table onto themselves.\n\t\tCreate a 3-foot safety zone around the stove and barbecue where children are not allowed, even when no cooking is taking place. Teach children to stay three giant steps away from these appliances.\n\t\tUse the back burners and turn pot handles away from the stove\u2019s edge.\n\t\tConstantly supervise a young child in the bathtub. Place children facing away from faucets, so that they cannot turn on the hot water themselves.\n\t\tAlways turn on the cold water faucet first, then add hot water.\n\t\nSet Water Heaters to 125\u00b0 F or LessIn Massachusetts, the State Sanitary Code requires hot water heaters be set to temperatures between 110\u00b0 and 130\u00b0 Fahrenheit. The code also requires mixing valves that also help prevent scalds to ensure bath water does not exceed 112\u00b0 F at the faucet and water from other household faucets does not exceed 130\u00b0.\n\nOn July 1, 2017, a 1-year old Boston girl was burned when her father was giving her a bath. The water was too hot and she was burned over 20% of her body surface area. \nScalds Cause 45% of Burns to Older Adults \n\nOlder adults also frequently suffer scald burns from hot liquids and steam. As we age our skin becomes thinner, and serious burns occur more quickly. \n\nOn August 9, 2017, an 86-year old Lowell woman was cooking when she spilled boiling water on herself causing scald burns to 20% of her body surface area.\nBurn First Aid: Cool Water\u201cTreat a burn with cool water; don\u2019t use grease, butter, ointments, lotions or fats, because they can make the burn worse. Be sure to call 9-1-1 for medical help for all but the most minor burns,\u201d Ostroskey said. He also offered these treatment tips for burns:\n\nStop, Drop and Roll\n\n\u201cIf flames ignite clothing, it is important to remember to Stop, Drop, Cover and Roll,\u201d said Ostroskey. Children should be taught to stop, drop and roll if their clothing is on fire. Older children, adults and seniors must be aware that they can put out clothing fires even in a tight space, by rocking back and forth until the flames are out, or using a blanket or coat to smother the flames.\n\nMassachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System (M-BIRS)\n\nThe Massachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System (M-BIRS) collects reports of all burns of five percent or more of the body surface area from doctors and medical treatment facilities in Massachusetts. M-BIRS is a joint program of the state Department of Fire Services and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). The \u201cBurn Registry\u201d provides valuable data on the nature of the burn problem in the Commonwealth. It is also a tool to help fire service and law enforcement personnel identify arsonists that may have been burned while setting fires.\n\nFor more information on burn safety, go to www.mass.gov/dfs and search on \u201cburn safety\u201d.