Cup of noodles? More like cup of pain, say doctors who treat many patients with burns related to incidents involving those Styrofoam cups full of hot microwaved liquid. The very design of those cups is dangerous, says a new report.
National Public Radio’s Planet Money blog spoke to Dr. Warren Garner, director of University of Southern California’s County Hospital’s burn unit, who says he refuses to even have instant soup in his home, after seeing so many children burned by those products. Kids like to grab things, which spells a trip to the emergency room if soup is involved.
“It pulls down on top of them,” Garner says. “The hot liquid then burns their chest, arms, torso, sometimes their privates, occasionally their legs.” He says there’s no other injury that he sees as regularly that can be so directly attributed to a product’s design, and calls these soups “uniquely troublesome.”
NPR did some research into the matter, finding that many burn units across the country experience this same phenomenon. Noodle soup is one of the worst offenders, says a 2007 study, as the noodles cling to the skin once the soup is spilled.
However, there are certain brands that are more likely to cause harm, says NPR, as some are designed in a more tippable manner. Tall cups with a narrow bottom will spill three times more easily than short, wide containers.