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Preventing Common Childhood Injuries

Age: 12 to 14 months

Risk: Burns

Burns from hot liquids and vapor are a leading cause of injury in this age group. Hot tap water from a sink or bathtub tends to cause more severe scalds than do spilled hot liquids. A baby, whose thinner skin burns at a lower temperature and more deeply than an adult's, can suffer third-degree burns in a few seconds when the water temperature is above 140° Fahrenheit.

Car-related injuries (caused by driveway back-overs, falling out of a car, or setting a car in motion) increase markedly with a baby's ability to walk. And falling into a pool or hot tub continues to be a risk as toddlers become able to gain access to these facilities.

How to prevent burns:

• Set the thermostat on your home's hot-water heater to 120°F to prevent scalding.

• Keep children out of the kitchen or secured in a high chair while you're cooking. Turn handles of pots and pans away from the edge of the stove.

• Don't hold your baby while drinking or carrying hot liquids. Do not place hot liquids near the edge of a table, and avoid using tablecloths.

• Install smoke detectors in your home.

• Have working fire extinguishers in your home.

• If you smoke, do not smoke in bed, and properly dispose of butts and ashes.

• Keep electrical appliances and cords out of your child's reach.

• Erect barriers around space heaters, woodstoves, fireplaces, or kerosene heaters.

• Check your heating system at least once a year to prevent malfunctioning, carbon monoxide poisoning, and fires.

• Keep young infants out of direct sunlight. Use shading, sunscreen, and hats when outdoors.