Most toddlers can reach as high as a kitchen countertop, putting them at risk for severe burns from hot liquids, a new study has revealed.
In the study investigators and parents urged children, ages 12 to 23 months, to reach for a toy phone atop a standard, 36-inch countertop at a paediatric clinic.
Of the 54 children who participated, 41 (76 percent) could reach at least some distance, with many of the children able to reach as far as eight inches onto the countertop, which was "much farther than anticipated," said David Allasio at Children's Hospital of Michigan.
Children who pull down a cup of hot liquid such as coffee or tea can sustain serious burns requiring hospital admission.
"Findings from the research are important as it will help us reduce pain, financial costs and parental distress associated with scald-related burns to children, and the information can be used to better educate parents," said Allasio.
Parents were subsequently urged to place hot and potentially dangerous liquids and objects toward the back of the countertop, closest to the backsplash and wall.