CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The first full week of February every year is known as National Burn Awareness Week. This year, the focus is on the dangers of burns and scalds from hot liquids.

The leading cause of burns for children under the age of 5 in Massachusetts is hot liquid scalds. This can be caused by hot drinks or boiling liquids left on the stovetop. In 2021, there more 300 burn injuries reported to the Massachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System.

“Don’t carry hot liquids when you are carrying your child. I now that sounds silly, but when you have a little baby and your tired and you want a sip of coffee, holding the baby and the cup of coffee is not a good idea,” said Dr. Matthew Sadof from Baystate Health. provides tips for parents and guardians when it comes to children around hot liquids.

Hot drink safety

• Avoid holding a baby and a cup of hot liquid. A wiggling baby may cause a spill.
• Use a travel mug when drinking hot beverages around younger children. You can latch the cup closed to minimize the risk of scald burns.
• Place hot drinks and soups closer to the center of a table. Children and their curious fingers may be able to reach a hot drink placed near the edge.
• Consider using place mats on tables instead of tablecloths to avoid children from pulling everything off the table.

Cooking safety

• Keep children away from stoves, grills, campfires and fireplaces to protect them from cooking liquids, grease and hot metal.
• Turn pot handles inward on the stove top to reduce the chances of it being grabbed by a child.
• Keep appliance cords out of reach of children.
• Children under five are five times more likely to be burned by cooking.

Tap water safety

• It just takes one second for water over 155 degrees to cause third degree burns.
• Set your hot water heater to 125 degrees or less. It is Massachusetts law to keep your water heater between 110 degrees and 130 degrees.
• Watch your children in the bath and face them away from the faucet to avoid them from turning on hot water.

Other burn safety

• Turn off unattended irons.
• Never use gasoline to start a fire.
• Glass front fireplaces can reach up to 172 degrees and can cause burns in young children.
• Use sunscreen when outside in the sun.

If someone in your house receives a burn or scald, you should remove them from the danger and call 911. Run burns under cold water and avoid putting an butter, grease or ointment on the burn. Avoid covering the burn with clothing, instead use a clean sheet or towel.

“Don’t panic if your child gets burned. Cool down the burn as soon as you can. If you start to see a lot of blistering, call your doctor just to be safe,” said Dr. Sadof.