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Kids are getting serious burns from instant noodles, researchers warn


Photo: kittikornphongok/iStockphoto

Instant noodles are convenient and inexpensive – but a recent study shows they’re also a common source of burns among kids.

Researchers from the University of Chicago looked at the cases of 790 children treated at UChicago Medicine’s Medicine Burn and Complex Wound Center for scald injuries caused by hot liquids. They found that, from 2010 to 2020, 31% of the cases involved instant noodles.

“The amount of heat contained in these noodles can easily cause second- and third-degree burns in anyone, but young children are particularly vulnerable due to their relatively smaller bodies and thinner skin,” said Sebastian Vrouwe, senior study author and assistant professor of surgery at UChicago Medicine.

Kids can get burned when hot noodles spill as they’re being removed from the microwave, and the narrow bases of noodle cups may contribute to spills while eating. Data showed that 40% of the burns happened when kids were left unattended. “Direct caregiver supervision is one important step in burn prevention,” Vrouwe said.

The study was published online in the journal Burns.

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