Keeping Children Safe Around Space Heaters


By: Clarence William Page

High Point, NC - - (October 23, 2018) - - A few years ago I wrote an article about the potential for children to be harmed by space heaters. I have filed that article away (among the many I have written) and no longer have it handy. Nevertheless, I will share some of the observations I made in that article.

The article resulted from an experience I had in our home. I was standing near one of our upright (vertical) space heaters. The heater was tall enough to reach my waistline. After inadvertently standing near the heater for a few minutes I happened to touch my belt buckle and noticed that it was hot to the touch (not just hot but very hot). That got me to thinking. I surmised that a small child playing near such a heater could actually receive enough heat to cause serious damage to his or her body.

I was a military medic. I have some sense of what too much heat can do to a person’s brain. Though I no longer practice as a medic, it does concern me that a young child, unaware of the dangers of extreme heat, could play too close to a space heater and received brain damage.

I think it would be wise to have space heaters situated behind non-flammable barriers that protected children (barriers that kept small children from getting too close to the heaters). Of course, if the barriers themselves were of the type materials that became heated and retained heat I supposed they too could burn a child.

At any rate, I think it very important that parents, guardians and childcare facilities take into account the potential for small children to get too close to dangerous heating sources and be harmed thereby. Keeping children safe is an adult’s responsibility.


Clarence William Page is a graduate of the U.S. Army Medical Training Center. He served as a Medical Corpsman. He is no longer in the military and is no longer authorized to practice in that field.