Protect your child from hot water burns


Victorian parents, such as those in Brimbank, are being warned to be extra vigilant this winter to prevent burns in children and ensure they are aware of correct first aid procedures.

According to Kidsafe, more than 19 children are treated at a specialist burns unit across Australia and New Zealand every week.

The primary cause of burn injuries in children in the 2020/2021 were scalds from hot water, in particular hot drinks such as tea and coffee.

Children are most likely to be injured at home, with 76 per cent of burns occurring in the home and 44 per cent of those in the kitchen.

Kidsafe program manager Gretchen Waddell said it was important for parents and carers to take precautions to reduce burns at home, with active adult supervision and taking preventative steps such as keeping children out of the kitchen when food is being prepared, placing hot food and drinks out of reach and ensuring older children eat while sitting at the table to prevent spills.

“Particularly during winter, hot water bottles, heat bags, and heaters are also potential burn hazards for children. Restricting children’s access to these items is also recommended,” Ms Waddell said.

If a burn happens, the appropriate first aid is to run cool water over the injury for 20 minutes. Using ice, creams, ointments or butter on a burn can make the injury worse.

“Taking the correct first aid steps can make a significant difference in the rehabilitation and long-term outcome of the burn injury,” Ms Waddell said.

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