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  • Writer's pictureInstitute Staff

The Dangers of Instant Soup: 1 in 5 Children Rushed to the ER Each Year

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

It’s easy to forget that microwaveable soup, such as ramen, contains scalding hot water.

Dr. Courtney Allen is a pediatric emergency fellow at Emory University. Allen says, “I think there’s an assumption that these (instant soups) are safer than soup coming out of a stove.”

Why Instant Soup Can Be Dangerous For Children

Instant soups cause “one in five childhood scald burns.” Researchers recorded more than 4,500 pediatric scald burns over an 11-year period. The findings came from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

Allen’s study focused on children 4-12 years old. Researchers found:

  • 972 injuries were from microwaveable soup. These burns made up 21.5% of all scald burns in their sample.

  • Instant soups were responsible for nearly 10,000 pediatric burns every year.

  • More than 90% of children admitted to the ER went home after evaluation. But, some did require additional hospitalization, surgery, and skin grafts.

  • Most burns affected the “trunk.” This is the bodily region from the shoulders to the groin.

  • Most injuries happened to children between 4-7 years old.

  • Injuries included first-, second-, and third-degree burns.

  • Burns from noodles caused longer hospital stays than burns from other types of soups. This is because noodles stay hotter longer.

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We all love hot soup, especially in the winter, however it can be dangerous for young children.

Pediatric S