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Scald Burns Increasing Among Older Americans

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From 2001 to 2006, 52,000 seniors in the United States were treated in hospital emergency departments for nonfatal scald burns caused by hot liquid or steam, says a new study.

The number of such injuries could increase dramatically as the population ages, say the researchers. They noted that many more older Americans are living alone and there's been a substantial rise in the incidence of all types of injuries among this population.

Scald burns among people 65 and older could be substantially reduced through preventive measures such as not leaving food unattended on the stove and by keeping the hot water heater set to less than 120 degrees, the researchers said.

The study was published Thursday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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