Because of their tendency to touch everything within their reach, children are particularly at risk for burns of all kinds, including those from hot liquids and foods. Hot liquids and foods are often easily accessible by children and can cause severe injuries in a matter of seconds. Even when parents have taken precautions against the occurrence of such accidents, children often receive hot liquid or food burns as a result of the negligence of another party.
Child hot liquid and food burns attorney Jeff Killino has handled numerous child injury cases and has a proven record of success. If your child has suffered a burn injury from hot liquids or foods as a result of someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation from those responsible. Contact attorney Killino at 877-875-2927 to learn more about your legal options.
Burn Causes and Symptoms
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautions parents to keep pots on back burners when children are present or to turn pot handles toward the rear if front burners must be used, to refrain from leaving spoons and other utensils in pots in which food is being cooked, and to refrain from carrying a child and hot liquids or foods at the same time.
Burns from hot liquids and foods may occur in a variety of situations. These may include:
- Spilled foods or beverages
- Consumption of excessively hot food or drink
- Food or drink which has overheated in the microwave
In any of these situations, your child may experience extremely serious burns.
Symptoms of such burns may include:
- Redness of the skin
If your child has sustained a hot liquid or food burn, you are well-advised to seek qualified medical care as quickly as possible.
Treatment of Burn Injuries
Physicians recommend running cool water over the area affected by a 1st or 2nd degree hot liquid or food burn and applying wet sterile dressings to cool a 3rd degree burn until medical assistance can be obtained. If a hospital visit is warranted, your physician may prescribe medications including pain relievers and antibiotics. Depending on the severity and location of the burn, skin grafts may also be required. In some cases, long-term rehabilitation at a burn care facility may be ordered.
Legal Liability for Children’s Hot Liquid and Food Burns
Children may sustain hot liquid or food burns as a result of someone’s negligence or an unreasonably dangerous (and, therefore, defective) product.
Product Liability Suits for Hot Liquid and Food Burns
Burns from hot liquids served in restaurants and coffee houses are frequent and often severe. Though these liquids are not generally sold to children, children who are with adults who purchase these foods or liquids are at risk of serious injury if these substances spill on a child before they have cooled.
Serious burns from spilled coffee are particularly common, as restaurants and coffee houses often serve coffee at temperatures between 170 and 190 degrees despite the ability of 140-degree liquid to cause third degree burns after one-second of exposure. Under section 402A of the Restatement (Second) or Torts, the seller of liquid at such a temperature may be found liable for damages sustained as a result of the spillage or drinking of such substances in a product liability action.
A negligence product-liability action may be brought by not only the purchaser of a product, but also by a non-purchaser user or non-purchaser bystander. Thus, the seller of coffee or other liquid while the liquid is at a dangerously high temperature may be held liable for the burn injury sustained by a child from the spillage of the liquid, even if the child did not purchase or use (drink) the liquid.
Liability is imposed on the seller as a result of a duty of care that arises when hot liquids or foods are sold to the public. Such sellers have a duty to take reasonable care to prevent harm from these substances to anyone who can reasonably be expected to come into contact with the substance—including children who are near an adult who has purchased or is using the substance.
Burns from hot liquids or foods often occur as a result of an adult’s negligent supervision of a child. If an adult, such as a babysitter or daycare center employee, has undertaken the responsibility of supervising a child, a duty arises on the part of that adult to exercise reasonable care to ensure that the child does not suffer injury, including burn injuries, while under the adult’s care.
If a babysitter allows a child access to a stove on which hot liquids or foods are being prepared and the child suffers a burn injury as a result of contact with the hot liquid or food, the babysitter may be found liable in an action for negligence for the child’s burn injuries.
If your child has suffered a burn from hot food or liquid, contact nationally recognized child burn injury lawyer Jeff Killino at 877-875-2927 to schedule a consultation.