Protect your child from getting burnt in your home

Burns specialist Joanne Atkins explains how to make your home safer

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Eliminate the cause

The vast majority of burn injuries involve children under 4 years. Across the country, children make up around 50% of the workload for burns specialists. 

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Joanne Atkins, burns specialist and British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) member, tells us, “With 180 children per day attending a burns clinic due to spilt hot drinks alone, it’s not only important to know how to treat a burn, but how to stop them from happening.”

Read the reality behind the myths – how NOT to treat a burn

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Don’t underestimate your children

As Joanne explains, “Young children are most likely to get burnt as they’re mobile, have no sense of danger, and often surprise their parents by how mobile they suddenly become.” Even if you don’t think a child can reach a hot object, move it to an even safer place. 

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Change your routine

It sounds like common sense, but don’t leave a child in a room with a hot iron. Joanne suggests mixing up your routine: “Why not change when you do the ironing to the evening, or when your child is having their nap? This way you eliminate the chance your child will touch it while it’s still hot.”

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Think ‘worst-case scenario’

Keep in mind the worst thing that can happen – so if you’ve turned your hair straighteners off, remember they can take at least 30 minutes to even begin to cool down. “We see a lot of injuries due to hair straighteners. Don’t forget to put them out of reach once you’re finished with them,” says Joanne.

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Don’t ignore common sense

Popping your kitchen cleaner under the sink is handy for you, but a potential danger to your child. If a child drinks from one of these bottles, they can get serious mouth, throat or stomach burns. As with hot liquids or appliances, keep dangerous products out of your children’s reach.

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