Burns and scalds
Hot drinks cause most of the scalds to children under the age of five. A child’s skin is much more sensitive than an adult’s and hot water can scald for up to 15 minutes after it has boiled. Hot bath water is the biggest cause of severe and fatal scalding injuries in young children.
Children can also get burns from open fires, cookers, irons, hair straighteners and tongs, cigarettes, matches, lighters and other hot surfaces. To help prevent these accidents from occurring, make sure you:
- Switch off heated appliances, such as irons, hair straighteners and curling tongs, immediately after use and place out of your child’s reach. Keep the cord safely out of reach as well
- Always place hot drinks out of children’s reach. Keep them away from the edges of tables and surfaces, and don’t use tablecloths that children can pull at
- Do not drink anything hot with a child on your lap
- Use a cordless kettle or one with a coiled lead that can be kept short
- Use the back rings on the cooker, whenever possible, and turn saucepan handles away from the edge
- Before bathing your baby or child, check that the water is not too hot. A good test is to put your elbow in first. When filling the bath, run the cold water first before adding hot water. As your child gets older, teach them to test the water first, too
- Thermostatic valves can be fitted to ensure the temperature of water from the tap is safe.