Scald injuries describe burns caused by hot liquids or steam. Scalds are a common type of burn-related injury in young children. More than one in four burn injuries in children under fourteen are scalds, and an estimated 65 percent of burn injuries in children under four are scalds. In addition, people over 65 have an elevated risk of suffering scald injuries. The elderly and the very young have weak, delicate skin, which makes them prone to more serious burn injury—their skin burns at lower temperatures and more deeply than the skin of adults.
Scalds can result in first-degree burns, second-degree burns, or third-degree burns. Treatment of a scald depends on the severity of the burn. If you or a child suffers a scald injury, run the injured skin under cool water, cover the burn with a clean cloth and seek immediate medical attention. If the scald injury covers a large percent of the body, be sure to seek medical care as soon as possible. Also, be prepared to treat the victim for shock.