Hot drinks are the leading cause of burns in children. 30 babies and toddlers go to hospital every day in the UK with a burn caused by a hot drink:
- Keep hot drinks away from young children
- Don't pass a hot drink over a child
- Never hold a baby and a hot drink at the same time
- Make a SafeTea zone: a safe place for hot drinks in your home, out of reach of small children
- Cool under running water for 20 minutes
- Call NHS 111 or 999
- Cover the burn with loose strips of clingfilm or clean non-fluffy material to stop of getting infected
- Ensure that bottles of formula feed are mixed well to avoid hot spots and check that the temperature of the milk is lukewarm before feeding.
- Use a kettle with a short or curly flex to stop it hanging over the edge of the work surface, where it could be grabbed.
- When cooking, use the rings at the back of the cooker and turn saucepan handles towards the back, so they can’t be grabbed by little fingers. Consider using a safety gate to restrict access to the kitchen.
- When you’ve finished using your iron or hair straighteners, put them out of reach while they cool down. Make sure your child can’t grab the flex while you’re using them.
- When you run a bath for your baby, put the cold water in first, then add hot water to get to the right temperature. Use a bath thermometer to check.
- If you can, fit a thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) to regulate water temperature.
- Use an appropriate sunscreen and keep your baby/ child in the shade where possible.
- Fit smoke alarms on every level of your home. Test them every week and change the batteries every year.
- If you have an open fireplace, always use a fireguard that encloses the whole fireplace and make sure it's attached to the wall. Don't place anything on it or hang things from it.
If your child has a burn:
- Immediately put the burn or scald under cold running water.
- Use something clean and non-fluffy, like a cotton pillowcase, linen tea towel or cling film, to cover the burn or scald. This will reduce the risk of infection. If your child’s clothes are stuck to the skin, don’t try to take them off.
- Don’t put butter, toothpaste, oil or ointment on a burn or scald, as it will have to be cleaned off before the burn or scald can be treated.
You should take your child to the nearest A&E department if they have:-
- large or deep burns – bigger than your child’s hand
- burns of any size that cause white or charred skin
- all chemical and electrical burns
- burns on the face, hands, arms, feet, legs or genitals that cause blisters (Blisters will burst naturally. The raw area underneath them needs a protective dressing. Ask your pharmacist or practice nurse for advice
What to do if your child has an accident - NHS (www.nhs.uk) - pages includes Video: how do I deal with burns and scalds? (9 to 30 months)