Children admitted weekly to UMC ICU with severe burns caused by Ramen Noodles

Dr. Alan Pang, a surgeon at UMC burn ICU, says he sees one or two patients a week.
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 5:41 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2023 at 6:27 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Ramen Noodles are a common household meal that most kids love. However, the cooking process is sending children here in Lubbock to the hospital with severe burns.

Dr. Alan Pang, a surgeon at UMC burn ICU, says he sees one or two patients a week.

“We certainly have kids who get total body surface burns, 10 to 20 percent from these Ramen Noodles burns,” said Dr. Pang.

Dr. Pang says those burns can hurt children even if the water is not boiling.

“We don’t really get our adult skin until we are teenagers, so the burns are more severe with lower-temperature liquids,” Dr. Pang said.

That makes kids who are looking for a quick meal in the pantry more susceptible to ending up in the burn unit.

“They’re not tall enough to reach the microwave and their hands are not quite big enough like adults, so all of this perfect storm kind of causes spills to happen. When this hot liquid makes contact with the children’s skin it can cause third-degree burns that need skin grafting,” Dr. Pang said.

While these spills are avoidable, it is something that the burn unit at UMC is still seeing them weekly.

“I wouldn’t want parents to worry that we are necessarily pointing the finger. Ultimately, we want to make sure we are doing right by that child,” Dr. Pang said.

Dr. Pang says if your child does get burned, whether it is minor or severe, you should assess the wound, remove any clothing around the area, and seek medical attention.

“The sooner you can get to an emergency department or the burn center and have that burn assessed by a medical professional, the better outcome they will have.”