The commonest injury is caused by toddlers reaching up for a steaming cup.
Figures released from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents show that approximately 600 people are badly scalded every year and 20 of those die. Most of these are children or elderly people in care homes.
Always run cold water into a bath and then add hot. Remember a child's skin is far more sensitive than an adults and injuries from burns or scalds can be far more devastating.
Some accidents happen when a child is left briefly in the bathroom, sometimes when the bath is being run for an adult and the child climbs or slips in.
In the event of a scalding immediately run cold water over the affected part of the body for at least 15 minutes. Then wrap the area in cling film followed by warm blankets until medical help arrives. Do not use ice cold water, which could increase the risk of hypothermia. For burns, again, use cold running water, and do not use any creams, lotions or adhesive plaster dressings and do not attempt to burst any blisters that might appear. If necessary remove any jewellery or clothing from the injured area but leave it if it is sticking to the skin. Cover with a clean linen cloth to protect from infection. Lay the child down, cover with a blanket, and lift and support the legs.
As a precaution always apply these rules:
- In the kitchen keep your kettle and its flex at the back of the work surface and well away from the edge.
- Try to keep your children supervised while you work in the kitchen or at least, explain to them the dangers.
- Turn hot saucepan handles towards the back of the cooker and try to use the back plates as much as possible.
- Never, in any circumstances, leave a fat fryer unattended.
- Never leave a child alone in the bathroom when filling the bath full of hot water.
- Keep hot drinks away from children and away from the edge of the table.
- Never pass a hot drink near a child where it might get knocked.
- Keep children away from barbecues.
Warning about novelty lighters.
A recent tragic burns case occurred when a mother bought a lighter as a mobile phone replica. Her three year old child took the lighter from his mother's bag and set fire to his clothes.