The downside of microwaveable soup and noodles
Microwaveable instant soup products are responsible for 20% of children going to emergency departments with scalds.
"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.
'Instant Soup Scald Injuries in Children' was presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 2018 National Conference & Exhibition.
The researchers examined National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data from 2006 to 2016 to identify paediatric patients whose scald burns were caused by either microwavable instant soup, instant noodles, cup of soup or water for making instant soup. They determined scald burns related to instant soups and noodles affect more than 9500 US children annually between ages 4 and 12 years.
The peak age for instant soup spill injuries was 7 years and 40% of the children had burns to their torsos. Interestingly, 57% of the children were girls — does this make the girls more clumsy or, more likely, more inclined to be involved in food preparation.
What can the food industry do?
Is the packaging designed to minimise scald risks? Would structural changes make the items more stable and less likely to tip?
Is the lidding robust enough?
While adult supervision is essential, it is imperative that the food industry delivers the safest packaging possible.
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