Hot liquid scalds main cause of kid burns

Jan. 27, 2012 at 6:47 PM
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MAYWOOD, Ill., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Hot liquid scalds -- being burned from beverages, soup or food on the stove -- are the No. 1 cause of burns to children, a U.S. burn expert said.

"Kids are underfoot in the kitchen, or curious about cooking, or sometimes, just in the wrong place at the wrong time," Jeanie Leggett of the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., said in a statement.

Dori Mleczko, a pediatric emergency department nurse at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., found out firsthand how quickly a severe burn can occur. She, her husband and two daughters were sitting for brunch in a restaurant when 8-year-old Sydney screamed because a carafe of hot tea water spilled on her lap.

Mleczko dowsed her daughter with glasses of cold water while her father quickly pulled off his daughter's clothing.

"Her skin just peeled off in a layer with her clothes," Jeff Mleczko said.

Dori Mleczko grabbed her daughter and ran into the restaurant kitchen to the ice bin and covered her with the ice.

"Time is tissue," Richard Gamelli, director of the Burn and Shock Trauma Institute at Loyola and Sydney's doctor, said. "Even when the exterior skin is cooled, often the deeper flesh is still burning and causing damage."

The girl sustained second- and third-degree burns, but after one week of care at Loyola, her skin is growing healthy new buds and she is doing very well, Gamelli said.

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