Pediatric nurse issues urgent warning about popular children’s snack

A pediatric nurse has issued a timely warning about the safety of a popular snack as temperatures across the nation plummet.

In an explainer on Instagram, Sarah Hunstead, who runs safety page CPR Kids, reminded parents to be vigilant if feeding their toddlers and young children instant noodles.

“Noodles are a popular snack, especially in the colder months, but did you know they are also a common cause of scald burns in toddlers and children (and teenagers!)?” Ms Hunstead captioned the post.

“Little ones have received serious burns from either pulling a cooling bowl of noodles on top of themselves or spilling them while consuming them.”

ramen noodles.
While noodles are a popular snack for children, the high temperatures do present their own set of dangers. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Experts at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW) in Sydney issued a similar warning last October amid an increased number of children suffering scalding burns from instant noodles during the school holidays.

The most common injuries were burns to the thighs or genital area, the hospital said, caused by kids accidentally spilling the boiling liquid on themselves while eating from their lap or carrying the noodle container.

“Boiling water in hot noodle containers can take an hour to cool down to a safe temperature after cooking,” head of the Burns Unit at CHW, Dr Torey Lawrence, said.

boy eating ramen
The most common ramen-related injuries are burns to the thighs and groin when children accidentally spill the boiling liquid on themselves. Getty Images

“This means accidents like spilling the hot water from instant noodles can cause long-lasting injuries and lifelong scarring for children.”

It’s important for parents to remember, he added, food or drink “that may be a good temperature for an adult” can result in a “significant burn to a child”.

“Children’s skin is comparatively thinner than adults and even a small amount of hot liquid can cause deeper, more extensive, and more severe burns,” Dr Lawrence said.

Children should have close adult supervision when consuming hot food and drink, Dr Lawrence said.

“Simple measures such as always having an adult remove the container from the microwave, draining the hot water from the noodles before serving, ensuring children eat noodles at the table instead of on their lap, and using non-stick placemats can make a huge difference,” he advised.

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