In 2017, more than 3500 children required admission to an NHS Burns Service following a scald from hot drinks or kettles. That’s nearly 290 children per month!
A hot drink can still scald a small child up to 15 minutes after it was first poured, and over 50 per cent of all hospital admissions in children are due to them being burnt by a hot drink.
To reduce the risk of such accidents at home, there are some small changes you can make:
- Keep young children out of the kitchen when you’re busy or there are lots of people around
- Check pan handles on the hob aren’t sticking out where they could be reached or knocked off
- Check you put hot drinks down on a surface out of reach of small hands- not on top of tea towels that could be pulled by a child
- When running a bath for your child, always put the cold water in first. This will prevent scald burns if they accidentally fall in, as well as contact burns from the actual heat of the bathtub.
Other burn risks
A growing number of children are receiving severe burns from hair straighteners. Even 30 minutes after being unplugged, hair straighteners retain enough heat to severely burn a small child’s skin, which is up to 15 times thinner than an adult’s skin.
Button batteries and dishwasher tablets can cause potentially fatal corrosive burns. Keep these securely locked away. Check all toys that operate on the small button batteries to ensure your child can’t open them and get hold of the batteries. If you think that your child has swallowed a button battery, take them to A&E immediately.
- NHS: Burns and Scalds
- Children’s Burns Trust (CBT)
- Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT): Button batteries
- SafeTea– Keep hot drinks out of reach
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-19 years called Chat Health. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a public health nurse (health visitor/school nurse) within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the line reopens.
Should you require urgent health advice in the meantime, please contact your GP, visit an NHS walk-in centre or call NHS 111. For emergencies, dial 999 or visit A&E.
Leicester City: text 07520 615381
Leicestershire & Rutland: text 07520 615382
You can also call and speak to a public health nurse on our professional advice line: 0300 3000 007