A scald burn is a type of burn to the skin caused by hot liquid or steam. Scald burns can range in severity, but any type of scald burn causes damage to the skin. These sorts of burns are fairly common, and children are particularly at risk of sustaining them. Approximately 65 percent of young children hospitalized with burns have been scalded, and the burn is often the result of someone’s negligence. If your child has experienced a scald burn as a result of another party’s negligence or a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation from the individuals or entities responsible. Contact child scald burn attorney Jeff Killino at 877-875-2927 to learn more about your legal options.
A scald burn can occur in an instant and can do more damage than many other types of burns. Scald burns also may take longer to heal and are more likely than many other burns to leave permanent scars. In severe cases, scalds can be fatal. Treatment of scald burns may require:
- Skin grafts
- Long-term rehabilitation
Common Causes of Scald Burns
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), scald burns are the most common cause of pediatric burns as well as a major cause of child fatalities. Three of the most common forms of scald burns are
Legal Liability for Children’s Scald Burns
Children’s scald burn injuries may be caused by someone’s negligence of by the defect of a product. In some cases, such burns have been caused by intentional conduct, or child abuse.
Civil Liability for Intentionally Inflicted Scald Burns
An adult who intentionally abuses a child through the infliction of scald burns may be found not only criminally but civilly liable for the injuries sustained by the child. If your child has sustained a scald burn as a result of intentional child abuse, you may be able to recover damages for your child’s injuries in a civil action for assault and battery, for instance. Damages recoverable in such an action may include past and future medical expenses, costs of surgeries, costs of rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma suffered as a result of the incident and the resulting injuries.
An adult whose negligence is determined to have been a cause of a child’s scald burn injuries may be found liable for the damages suffered by the child as a result of the injuries in an action for negligence. A scald burn injury may result from the negligence of an adult supervisor, such as a babysitter, for example, if a pot of boiling water or liquid is left on a stove within reach of a child entrusted to the supervisor’s care. If a child pulls a pot of hot liquid or food off a stove, the child may sustain scalding burns, particularly to the lower extremities. The failure to take reasonable precautions to prevent a child from gaining access to a stove when hot foods or liquids are present may be determined to constitute a breach of the duty of reasonable care owed by a supervisor to a child and result in liability for the child’s injuries on the part of the negligent adult.
Children may also receive scald burns from excessively hot tap water. If an adult in whose care a child has been entrusted allows the temperature setting on a hot water heater to remain at a dangerously high level, the adult may be held liable in an action for negligence for the injuries sustained by the child as a result of a burn from the excessively hot tap water. To prevent such injuries, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) cautions parents to lower the temperature of hot water heaters to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
An adult supervisor may also be found liable in a negligence action for a child’s scald burn injuries if the adult leaves the child unattended or otherwise allows the child to play in a sink or bathtub or other source of tap water or fails to prevent the child from doing so.
Children’s scald burns have also been caused by defective products. Burns from excessively hot tap water, for instance, may result from a product defect in a hot water heater as well as from someone’s negligence. If a defect in a hot water heater is determined to have been a cause of a child’s scalding burn injuries, the manufacturer of the heater as well as anyone in the chain of the heater’s distribution may be found liable for the child’s injuries.
Child scald burn lawyer Jeff Killino has been representing injured children and their families for years. Scald burns are often the result of accidents that could have easily been avoided. If your child has sustained a scald burn as a result of someone’s negligence or a defective product, contact attorney Killino at 877-875-2927 to schedule a consultation.