More families are using fireplaces to heat their homes during cold winter months. While indoor fireplaces are convenient and provide instant warmth, more children are burning themselves by touching the glass barrier at the fireplaces' fronts.
"Young children, especially those younger than 2, are explorers and often unsteady on their feet," says Dr. Douglas Baker, a pediatrician and emergency department physician at UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Children can burn themselves by falling toward the gas fireplace and pushing against the hot glass for balance."
Dr. Baker also warns that children might touch hot glass out of simple curiosity. It takes only seconds for a child to be seriously burned and children can still be harmed after the burner has been turned off and the glass is cooling.
Parents should never leave children unsupervised near fireplaces, and barriers can be erected to keep youngsters at a safe distance. Parents should also consider using the fireplace only after children younger than 5 years old have gone to bed.
Media Contact: Erin Prather Stafford
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