Kids’ Scald Burns Are Often Caused By Instant Soup And Ramen

child eating instant noodles

There are a few foods that immediately make us nostalgic for childhood. Cereal and milk, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and the best lunch of all-time, Cup of Noodles. We love us some Cup of Noodles, even now! Sure, we're a bit older and wiser now, and we know that it's not exactly the healthiest meal. But nothing can be the convenience and deliciousness of a cup of piping hot noodles that you can be slurping down in a matter of minutes. However, as yummy as Cup of Noodles are, they can also be pretty dangerous, especially for kids. In a new study, researchers at Emory University found that one out of five pediatric scald burns were caused by the instant soup. Let's consider this to be a cautionary culinary tale, parents.

From 2006 to 2016, instant noodle soups sent almost 10,000 kids to the hospital with scald burns. The kids were between the ages of 4 and 12 years old. That means that 21.5% of all pediatric scald burns were the result of the piping hot soup. That's sort of shocking! We say sort of because, well, those cups of noodles are incredibly hot. And we can totally see how a child could spill it on themselves and burn themselves pretty badly. They seem so simple! Just dried noodles, some spices, and those weird dehydrated veggies. But once you add the boiling water or pop the cup in the microwave, that liquid turns into a dangerous burn risk.

ramen instant noodles
Credit: iStock / estebanmiyahira

The burns are mostly taking place on the arms, legs, and torso. But researchers aren't exactly sure why they're happening. Are kids pulling the cups from the microwave themselves and dumping the contents onto their torso? Or are they spilling the liquid as they carry the cup, or possibly knocking it over while eating? These are questions researchers are hoping to answer in the next phase of the study, where they'll be giving children mock Cup of Noodles filled with liquid at a safe temperature and observing them carrying the instant soup.

For now, if your kids are big fans of Cup of Noodles, take some extra precautions. Don't allow your kids to remove the cups from the microwave themselves, or pour in the boiling water. And it's probably a good idea to pour the soup into a safer bowl for them to eat out of, rather than letting them eat straight from the Styrofoam carton.

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