LAS VEGAS - If you plan to keep warm this winter with a fireplace, you may want to take some precautions - especially if you have children.
A popular design of gas fireplace is putting your children at risk for serious burns. Specifically, fireplaces with glass coverings can be dangerous. If your little one touches the glass while it's on, or up to an hour after it's off, tragedy can strike.
Eleven-month-old Lila Stephens had just learned to stand on her own. She touched the glass of the fireplace at a resort and experienced third-degree burns on her hands. Infant Marin Montgomery also suffered severe burns from a glass fireplace.
What many people don't realize is glass front fireplaces - which may appear safer because you can't touch an open flame - can actually get very hot. The glass can reach temperatures upwards of 500 degrees.
As a result, the fireplace industry will provide mesh screens for new fireplaces beginning January 1, 2015, so little ones can't touch the scorching glass.
In the meantime, parents can purchase protective glass screens for their fireplaces or erect child gates around their fireplaces to keep children away from the glass.
According to the group Fair Warning, more than 2,000 children ages 5 and under have been burned by touching unprotected fireplace glass in the past 10 years. That's about 200 kids a year.