Microwave Oven Safety

Don't be fooled by microwave ovens. They work quickly and do not give out heat you can feel. But scald burns resulting from splattering foods from the microwave are a common hazard.

Preschoolers like to push the buttons and hear the beeping sound made by some microwave ovens. They must be taught to avoid microwaves as they would any other potentially harmful appliance.


Did you know that:

  • Although the container may be cool, food heated in microwave ovens is very hot--hot enough to cause scald burns.
  • Liquids heated in a microwave oven may not turn into steam, even though they are very hot. Moving these containers of hot liquid or putting a utensil or other object into them creates a "steam bubble," and the hot liquid may splash out, causing a scald burn. Liquids heated in a microwave are very hot, even if the container they are heated in is cool.
  • Microwave ovens do not always heat evenly. Food that feels cool to the touch in one place may be hot enough to burn in another place. Also, foods that feel cool on the surface may be quite hot in the center.
  • It is a good idea to let food cool for 60 seconds or more in the oven before removing it. Food hot enough to burn will cool down while remaining warm enough to enjoy.
  • Microwaves may heat food differently than conventional ovens, but there is nothing different about the scald burns they cause. Treat mild burns as you would any other mild burn--with lots of cool water.