U.S.A: Kids are crazy for instant noodles and soup but a new study suggests that such easy to cook products may put young children at risk.
According to a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), microwave instant soup products cause at least two out of every 10 scald burns. Such findings are alarming for the safety of the meals, which often come in microwave cups.
The findings revealed that the products, which many families turn to for quick, convenient snacks or meals, are responsible for burning almost 10,000 children ages 4 to 12 each year.
“Scald burns are a major cause of preventable injury among children, and our research found that instant soup spills are responsible for a large number of these painful burns,” said Courtney Allen DO, FAAP, a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow at Emory University.
The researchers examined National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data from 2006 to 2016 to identify pediatric patients whose scald burns were caused by either microwavable instant soup, instant noodles, a cup of soup, or water for making instant soup. They determined scald burns related to instant soups and noodles affect more than 9,500 children annually between ages 4 and 12 years.
The peak age for instant soup spill injuries, Dr. Allen and her colleagues determined, was 7 years old. They also found that the most commonly burned area of the body was a child’s torso, comprising 40 percent of the injuries. Roughly 57 percent of the children burned were female.
“Instant soups and noodles in prepackaged cups and bowls may seem simple to prepare just by adding water and microwaving them,” Dr. Allen said. “But once they’re heated up they become a dangerous burn risk. Caregivers need to closely supervise younger children who might otherwise get hurt if cooking for themselves.”
Burns from noodle soup cause significantly longer hospital stays than burns from other types of soup because noodles stay hotter longer and “the cooling curve” for noodle soup is much slower.
The authors suggested that one of the measures the food product industry may consider is the structural changes to packaging to prevent injuries as well – making them more difficult to tip over.
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