Instant soups and noodles responsible for burning nearly 10,000 children each year

These microwavable, prepackaged products may be quick, but also dangerous for children to prepare.


Instant soup or noodles are cheap, tasty and wildly popular among hungry college students. But new research suggests that the products may put young children at risk.

According to a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), microwave instant soup products cause at least two out of every 10 scald burns. Those findings have led some experts to question the safety of the meals, which often come in microwave cups.

Scientists examined National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data from 2006 to 2016. They then identified pediatric patients whose scald burns were caused by either microwave instant soup, instant noodles, a cup of soup, or water for making instant soup. The scientists found scald burns related to instant soups and noodles affect more than 9,500 children annually between ages 4 and 12 years.

In addition, scientists found that most burns affect the trunk, the bodily region from the shoulders to the groin, and happen in children between 4 and 7 years old.

Courtney Allen DO, FAAP, a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow at Emory University said, “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.”

“Instant soups and noodles in prepackaged cups and bowls may seem simple to prepare just by adding water and microwave them. But once they’re heated up they become a dangerous burn risk. Caregivers need to closely supervise younger children who might otherwise get hurt if cooking for themselves.”

An abstract of the study, “Instant Soup Scald Injuries in Children,” will be presented on Monday, Nov. 5, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

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