Severe burns resulting from an exploding teat on a bottle of infant formula milk heated in a microwave oven

Burns. 1997 May;23(3):268-9. doi: 10.1016/s0305-4179(96)00127-1.


Accidental injury to infants can result from the use of home microwave ovens. The spectrum of injury includes scald burns of the trachea, palate oropharynx and oesophagus due to aspiration and ingestion of foods that have been overheated. There is one previous case report of a child with second-degree burns of 6 per cent of his body area due to explosion of the plastic liner and nipple on a feeding bottle top. We present a case report of an infant who suffered 7 per cent full-thickness burns following explosion of the bottle teat and subsequent splattering with hot milk. He required mid-palmar amputation of his left hand including thumb, index and middle fingers. The full-thickness burns of left cheek and left shoulder were grafted but will result in significant scarring. It is common practice in many homes to heat infant feeds in the microwaves. We suggest that health professionals dealing with children need to be aware of the potential hazards so that appropriate education of parents can take place.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home*
  • Animals
  • Burns / etiology*
  • Burns / pathology
  • Burns / surgery
  • Explosions*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heating
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Equipment / adverse effects*
  • Infant Food
  • Male
  • Microwaves / adverse effects*
  • Milk