Whenever we think of burns in children, what readily comes to mind is a child reaching for something hot, which was carelessly placed within reach by an adult. For example, maybe a hot cup of tea was placed towards the edge of the table. Then a toddler reaching for it, tipped it over, causing its content to spill all over him/her.
So usually it’s the child reaching for the hot liquid and spilling it all over him/herself.

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Now that’s one way by which hot liquid burns occur. However there is another way which, unfortunately, is less talked about. I’m talking about when the adult is the one who accidentally pours the hot liquid (water in this case) on the child. To be honest, I had never really given much thought to this until I listened to a radio show (Titi, The Dynamite on 92.3FM) where the issue was addressed extensively.

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So on this particular show, we were advised not to carry pots/kettles containing hot water around the house, as is commonly done in some homes. I will explain…
In a country like Nigeria where electricity supply is epileptic, there are many times when we may not be able to use the water heater during bath time. On such occasions, we therefore opt for boiling our bath water using the gas cooker .

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We then carry the pot or kettle (containing the boiling water) all the way from the kitchen to the bathroom. The truth is that no matter how far we go to ensure that the pathway from the kitchen to the bathroom is clear, an accident can still occur. For example, you may think you have bundled all the children away from harm’s way, just for one of the them to suddenly run into you. Or maybe as you use your body to push the door open, you bump into your child who is standing behind the door, even though a minute ago he was glued to the television.

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Or even you yourself may suddenly slip and harm yourself.

So dear moms, why take chances? As advised on the show, if you must move hot water from the kitchen to the bathroom, use a bucket. As in, carry the bucket from the bathroom into the kitchen, pour the hot water into the bucket and then mix it with cold water right there and then. Or better still,make up your lukewarm water by pouring the hot water into a bucket which already has some cold water in it. It is very important that the water you are carrying back to the bathroom is not hot but lukewarm water. This is because accidents can still happen even while carrying a very big bucket which is only maybe a quarter way filled with hot water. For example the bucket could slip out of your hand if a child unexpectedly bumps into you or the handle may suddenly give way. To be honest, I am always very wary of plastic buckets’ handles.

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I know all of this may appear to be a lot of ‘ceremony’ for one little task but really, isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?
Now, the same goes for hot water used for drinking. Don’t carry the kettle into the living or dining room and don’t carry your cup into the kitchen to fetch the boiling water. Minimize the chances of an accident happening by using a flask to transport the boiling water out of the kitchen.

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Did you notice the word ‘minimize’? In my opinion, these steps are not absolutely 100% fool proof. You still have to be absolutely careful when pouring out the hot water in the kitchen. In fact it is best that no child is around while you are doing so and also be very careful while pouring the hot water out. Never be in a hurry!!
I could go on and on but the bottom line is that you must be absolutely careful with hot water (liquids in general) and please, please and please, mind the way you carry ‘it’ around the home. You may think the pathway is all clear. You may think you have all the children out of harm’s way. You may think you have it all covered. But trust me, one little mistake could physically and emotionally scar both you and your child for life.

So dear moms, have you had a hot water accident in your home? How do you carry hot water around the house? Do share any additional tips you have …

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