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In April 2017, Alex Schreuder, then just two-years-old , picked up a freshly made cup of tea and accidentally poured it down himself. Alex’s dad had turned his back on the toddler for just seconds while he put a plate in the dishwasher.

Alex was placed in a cold shower by his quick-thinking mum until an ambulance arrived. Alex’s parents later shared the story with a national newspaper in order raise awareness of the hazard that hot drinks can present to young children.

Apart from some minor scarring on his arm, Alex has thankfully made a strong recovery. But sadly, not everyone is so fortunate.  Oftentimes, children who suffer scalds and burns will deal with the consequences for the rest of their life.

Hot drinks cause most scalds to children under the age of five. A child's skin is much more sensitive than an adult's and a hot drink can still scald a child 30 minutes after being made.

Burns and scalds are common injuries to children. Research undertaken by the Children’s Burns Research network has shown that each year more than 50,000 children are treated each year for burns. This means that in the UK approximately 30 babies and toddlers are taken to hospital every day for treatment.

In response to this, the ‘SafeTea’ campaign was created to spread the message about how to protect young ones from burns and scalds in the home. We’ve partnered with two universities and a number of child safety charities to form a steering group that supports the campaign.

Burns and scalds can also be caused by other common household items such as irons and ovens. Here are five tips to ensure you are taking the right steps to reduce the risk of burn injuries:
  • When running a bath, run the cold water first
  • Always use rear hotplates/gas hobs and turn pan handles away from the front of the cooker
  • Keep hot irons, curling tongs and hair straighteners out of reach, even when cooling down
  • Put hot drinks out of reach and away from the edges of tables and worktops and never hold a hot drink and child at the same time
  • Ensure that hot water bottles are of good quality and do not show signs of wear and tear.  
For more information, see our advice about how to avoid burns and scalds.

Ashley Martin, public health adviser
Posted: 10/16/2019 4:23:29 PM 0 comments


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