Baby Safety Basics

Burns and Scalds

Disaster waiting to happen:

Your baby likes to play with faucets - and that's cool with you. After all, your water heater is set at 120 F, just as safety experts advise.

Playing it safe:

"That temperature setting means only that your baby won't sustain a third-degree burn," warns Danielle Laraque, M.D., a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and an associate professor of clinical pediatrics at Columbia University and the Harlem Hospital Center. A rush of 120-degree water can still cause plenty of pain.

Other ways to keep your baby from getting burned:

Never carry hot drinks or use the stove while holding her. Turn pot handles inward so you won't bump them and spill hot food. Push coffeemakers and other appliances -- along with their cords -- away from the edge of the counter.

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