HONOLULU (KHON2) — Microwaves are a common item in our kitchens, but doctors said they could also lead to some serious burns as many times people do not realize how piping hot liquids coming out of the microwave could cause an accident in the blink of an eye. 

It was a regular morning for Malia Valona. She loves to bake; and on a morning three years ago, she decided to prepare simple syrup, mixing sugar and water. Like many of us, she used the microwave to heat it all up. 

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Malia Valona said, “The bowl that I put it in wasn’t tempered, and it wasn’t the right bowl. And, so, in moving it to the counter or whatever, it kind of shattered because of how hot it got.”

This incident caused serious scald burns on her legs and thighs. She jumped into the bathtub to cool off the burns, and her doctor said she did the right thing. 

The Straub Medical Center Burn Unit Medical Director Dr. Robert Schulz is raising awareness and saying many underestimate how hot items in the microwave could get especially liquids. 

He saw a spike in patients at the peak of the pandemic when many became home cooks. 

Dr. Schulz said, “Scald burns are our most common injury. It could be a soup that they are making in the microwave, and the microwave is the common source of home injuries.”

Dr. Schulz said people also do not realize the amount of care needed. Malia was admitted for 30 days and required special equipment at the burn unit to scrub the injuries daily. 

Malia’s mother Barbara Valona said it took an entire village to get her daughter back on her feet. 

Barbara Valona said, “He said it’s going to be painful. You’re not going to have the heart to hurt her, and she’s not going to have the heart to tell you it hurts.”

Her mother and doctor described Malia as a fighter through the entire process. Her scars are now a reminder of the big challenge she overcame. 

Malia Valona said, “I am not ashamed of them. I look at them every day, and I appreciate them because they taught me so much.”

The Straub Burn Unit is raising awareness about these types of incidents during National Burn Awareness Week

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The American Burn Association said cooking is the number one cause of home fires. They recommend remaining home while cooking and letting items out of the microwave cool before removing them.