With the way that small children manage to get into everything, adults must be extra vigilant and careful when it comes to both fire safety and burn safety when kids are present.
Two stories from this past week make this point very clearly. First, in northwest Florida, Meigs County police say that a mom named Teresa Reed is in stable condition at the Joseph Still Burn Center in Augusta–but is very lucky to be alive.
Officers say a fire broke out around ten o’clock at night on May 11 in Reed’s apartment, and that it was started when Reed’s five-year-old son fell asleep after playing with matches.
Now, Reed’s neighbors are doing what everyone who reads about this incident should be doing: keeping an eye out for potential fire hazards that kids could have access to. One neighbor who witnessed the fire said that “we are making sure there’s no more papers outside, making sure kids aren’t playing with lighters, matches, stuff like that. People are also getting the wiring in their houses checked out.” Unfortunately, neighbors say that this was not the first fire to have started in that house. In short, children who are curious about fire can be very dangerous, and must be educated, warned, and watched.
The second story from this past week is even more disturbing, because it involves a severe burn injury at a day care center. In St. Paul, MN, a toddler is recovering from second-degree burns and maybe even third-degree burns she suffered at a local day care facility.
According to authorities, bathtub water burned the 16-month-old girl’s arms and legs. Investigators are trying to figure out what exactly happened inside the day care facility, but a few things should be clear for parents who bring their kids to day care:.
First, find out if the facility you are considering has been certified by local officials that it is a safe place that is run by people who have taken the proper training. And second, do your very own research–ask questions of the facility workers. For instance, ask if the doors to various rooms are left closed while the children are there so they cannot wander into an area that can get them burned. What’s more, ask if the water heater at the facility is set at less than 120 degrees. This temperature is considered safe enough to not cause a scalding injury in the event that a child wanders off and turns on a faucet without an adult knowing.