Meeting NewsPerspective

Instant soups account for more than 20% of pediatric scald injuries

ORLANDO, Fla. — Scald burns, a major cause of preventable injuries among children, are commonly caused by instant soups and noodles, with 20% of pediatric injuries caused by these products, according to research presented at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition.

“I think pediatricians have a big role to play in preventing these injuries, especially general pediatricians,” Courtney Allen, DO, an emergency medicine fellow at Emory University, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “At every visit and annual check-up, pediatricians give anticipatory guidance. I think it is very important to discuss this topic when children become more mobile, independent and curious. We need to remind parents that kids who are able to grip a cup and walk might get distracted and might not be as coordinated.”

Allen analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System to determine how many pediatric patients were treated between Jan. 2006 and Dec. 2016 for scald injuries related to instant soup, instant noodles and soup cup products as well as water heated for making soup. Children who were included in the analysis were aged between 4 and 12 years.

According to the data collected from the surveillance system, 4,518 scald burns were reported during the study period. It was estimated that 9,521 children aged between 4 and 12 years are affected by scald burns annually in the United States. Instant soups were the cause of 21.5% of these cases, and the average patient age was 7.22 years. Nearly half of patients were male, and when race was reported, 48.8% of patients were black.

A bowl of soup 
Research presented at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition shows that instant soups, noodles and soup cup products are the cause of nearly 25% of all scald burn injuries sustained by children.
Source: CDC

Scald injuries were most commonly sustained to the trunk (40.1%). Almost all injuries were treated in the ED and were discharged from the initial visit (90.4%). No fatalities were reported.

“Children need to be adequately supervised,” Allen said. “It is the main form of prevention [of soup-related scald injuries]. I think education is the first step to get this message out to parents and pediatricians. More research is needed to see if something can be adjusted with product design to make these products safer.” – by Katherine Bortz

Reference:

Allen C, et al. Instant soup scald injuries in children. Presented at: AAP National Conference & Exhibition; Nov. 2-6, 2018; Orlando, Fla.

Disclosure: Allen reports no relevant financial disclosures.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Scald burns, a major cause of preventable injuries among children, are commonly caused by instant soups and noodles, with 20% of pediatric injuries caused by these products, according to research presented at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition.

“I think pediatricians have a big role to play in preventing these injuries, especially general pediatricians,” Courtney Allen, DO, an emergency medicine fellow at Emory University, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “At every visit and annual check-up, pediatricians give anticipatory guidance. I think it is very important to discuss this topic when children become more mobile, independent and curious. We need to remind parents that kids who are able to grip a cup and walk might get distracted and might not be as coordinated.”

Allen analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System to determine how many pediatric patients were treated between Jan. 2006 and Dec. 2016 for scald injuries related to instant soup, instant noodles and soup cup products as well as water heated for making soup. Children who were included in the analysis were aged between 4 and 12 years.

According to the data collected from the surveillance system, 4,518 scald burns were reported during the study period. It was estimated that 9,521 children aged between 4 and 12 years are affected by scald burns annually in the United States. Instant soups were the cause of 21.5% of these cases, and the average patient age was 7.22 years. Nearly half of patients were male, and when race was reported, 48.8% of patients were black.

A bowl of soup 
Research presented at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition shows that instant soups, noodles and soup cup products are the cause of nearly 25% of all scald burn injuries sustained by children.
Source: CDC

Scald injuries were most commonly sustained to the trunk (40.1%). Almost all injuries were treated in the ED and were discharged from the initial visit (90.4%). No fatalities were reported.

“Children need to be adequately supervised,” Allen said. “It is the main form of prevention [of soup-related scald injuries]. I think education is the first step to get this message out to parents and pediatricians. More research is needed to see if something can be adjusted with product design to make these products safer.” – by Katherine Bortz

Reference:

Allen C, et al. Instant soup scald injuries in children. Presented at: AAP National Conference & Exhibition; Nov. 2-6, 2018; Orlando, Fla.

Disclosure: Allen reports no relevant financial disclosures.

    Perspective
    Wendy Sue Swanson

    Wendy Sue Swanson

    These findings are not surprising to me. These are easy and convenient ways to feed kids. Kids like them because they are preserved, packaged and salty. Although adults may get burns in their mouths from these products, these data show that kids are commonly burned on their torso.

    I know my kids, who are 10 and 11 years old, are starting to prepare their own food. Our microwave is above their height. Every time they put something in the microwave, they have to pull it down from an elevated height. They do not know how hot the food is because microwaves heat foods inconsistently.

    A good solution, which may be inconvenient, would be that if you are going to microwave a soup, transfer it to a bowl where you can mix it and change the temperature and consistency. You can also take it out of the container, which allows it to cool. The issue is that we tend to eat these foods when children are not at the dinner table but somewhere else where they could be distracted and spill these products on themselves.

    Children’s fine and gross motor skills are still developing. The average age here was 7 years, so they are still young. They are most likely fumbling or getting distracted.

    • Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE, FAAP
    • Chief of digital innovation at Seattle Children’s
      AAP spokesperson

    Disclosures: Swanson reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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