Hair straighteners can get as hot as an iron.
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Hair straighteners and curling irons can reach temperatures of 235°C., nearly three times as hot as a freshly-made cup of tea. They can remain scalding hot for up to eight minutes after they have been switched off and remain hot enough to burn up to 40 minutes. As children have much thinner skin than adults, these burns can cause permanent scarring. The number of children hospitalised for burns has risen by more than 50% in the past decade, though the total number of accidents for this age group has decreased.
You may have heard of some of the more obvious dangers of hair straighteners – the possibility of fire is real and dangerous.
The recommendations include:
- Hair straighteners and hot mugs are the leading causes of childhood scalds and burns, and one-year-olds are at greatest risk.
- One in 20 admissions to specialist burns units in the UK last year were due to accidents involving hair straighteners.
- Although the commonest injury is caused by toddlers reaching up for a steaming cup put your hair straighteners on a high shelf or in a heat-proof pouch to cool.
- Seek medical help for any burn or scald which is larger than a 50p coin.
- Never remove burnt clothing which has stuck to the skin. Burnt clothing is sterile and will protect the wound.
- Never put butter, oil or any sort of grease or lotion on a burn or scald. These can cause further damage and increase the risk of infection.
- Do not apply adhesive dressing or sticking plasters to the skin. They may damage the wound and cause pain when removed.
- Do not give the child anything to eat or drink except for painkillers.