Experts warn of the rise in children sustaining burns at home

Friday 13th October 2017

Experts warn of the rise in children sustaining burns at home

Burns specialists at Queen Victoria Hospital have seen an increase in the number of children being admitted to its burns unit with scalds from accidents around the home, all of which are preventable. For this year’s national burn awareness day (18 October), the hospital’s experts want to remind people of the importance of prevention and also effective first aid if you’re first at the scene.

Half of the children admitted to the paediatric burns unit at the hospital in the last year (383 children) were treated for scalds, the majority of which occurred in the child’s own home. Tea and coffee scalds were the main cause.

However more worrying is that 54 per cent of the children seen by the hospital, just over 200 children, were aged 0-2 years. This correlates with new findings from The Children’s Burns Trust and British Burn Association, which shows that more than 600 children a month were admitted to an NHS Burns Service following a burn or scald injury, not including the thousands who were seen for more minor burns in A&E departments.

Julie Baker, Paediatric Ward Matron at Queen Victoria Hospital, said, “Sadly we treat many children with burns injuries which are avoidable, some of which will leave life-changing scarring. We’d like to remind everyone not to carry or pass hot drinks over a child, or place them where a child can reach them. However if the unthinkable does happen, remember the mantra ‘cool, call and cover’. Acting quickly can help reduce immediate pain and long-term scarring.”

The hospital is supporting the British Burns Association’s ‘cool, call and cover’ first aid guidance:

  • Cool the burn with running cool tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and any jewellery
  • Call for help – 999, 111 or your local GP for advice
  • Cover with cling film while transferring to a hospital/GP surgery. The hospital/GP should apply a sterile dressing. Cling film should not be left on a burn for more than a few hours and only while wounds are being assessed by health professionals.

Tap graphic reproduced thanks to the Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, Australia.

For more information please contact the QVH Press Office on 01342 414508.