Properly used, the
microwave oven is safe and convenient for heating a variety of foods in a short time, but
the microwave can cause scald burns if it is used improperly or unsafely.
- Be careful when removing a wrapper or cover from a hot item.
Hot steam escaping from the container as the covering is lifted can cause a burn.
- Be careful when heating liquids in the microwave. Since the
containers may feel only warm, rather than hot, they are sometimes handled less
cautiously, resulting in the splashing or spilling of a scalding liquid.
- Cooking eggs in the microwave can result in scald burns unless
very specific precautions are taken. Check the microwave oven manual for specific
instructions for cooking eggs, squash, potatoes and eggplant.
Foods unevenly heated
Food can heat unevenly in a microwave oven,
which can cause serious mouth burns.
- The jelly in a jelly-filled pastry may be scalding while the
pastry is only warm.
- Frozen foods may be cold or only warm in one spot and scalding
- When heating foods for a young child, check the temperature by
sampling the food before allowing the child to eat it.
- Microwave ovens vary in cooking power. Determine safe heating
times and energy settings for your microwave oven.
Babies also at risk . . .
Heating baby formula or milk in bottles with
disposable plastic liners may be risky, because the liner may burst. Also, holding a child
in your arms while removing items from the microwave may result in serious burns to the
child. Keep children at a safe distance from the microwave oven.
Microwave burn prevention tips
- Read and follow the product/manufacturer's directions.
- Be sure everyone in the home is aware of the risks associated
with microwave use.
- Determine the safe amount of time for heating any food or
liquid to be given to a baby. The amount of food or liquid, the starting temperature
(refrigerator or room temperature) and the specific energy setting will all influence the
final temperature of the food or liquid.
- Be careful when removing coverings or lids from microwave
foods. Puncture plastic wrap before heating foods in the microwave.
- NOTE: Some manufacturers caution against heating their
products in the microwave oven.
- Keep all hot liquids out of children's reach, and keep
children away from the microwave and other heating appliances when removing hot foods.
- Use caution and follow directions when popping popcorn in the
microwave. The vapor produced in the bag may exceed 180 degrees F.
- Using a baby bottle warmer, especially the newer models,
provides a safer method of heating baby bottles. Be sure to read and follow the directions
Who should use the microwave oven?
As a general rule, only those who have read and
understand the directions should use the microwave oven.
- Generally, children under the age of 7 may be at risk, unless
they are closely supervised. Even children over 7 must be properly taught and supervised.
- The child's height is important to consider. Children should
be tall enough that their face is not directly in front of the microwave heating chamber
when the door is open.
- Babysitters, grandparents and other caregivers should be
properly instructed in using your microwave oven before they prepare food or drinks for
- Young children can be seriously scalded as they attempt to
remove heated liquids from the microwave oven.