Burns specialists warn of kitchen dangers

Wednesday 12th October 2022

Burns specialists warn of kitchen dangers

The kitchen may traditionally be the heart of the home, but it’s also one of the most dangerous rooms, especially when it comes to burns. In the last year, specialists at Queen Victoria Hospital have treated around 800 people, children and adults, from across Sussex, Kent and Surrey, all of whom burnt themselves in the kitchen and required medical attention. This doesn’t include burn injuries sustained in other parts of the home or elsewhere.

That’s why this Burns Awareness Day (12 October) the hospital’s burns experts want to raise awareness of the importance of prevention as well as good, immediate first aid.

A burn injury is for life. The impact can be lifelong and involve numerous medical appointments over a period of time. Young children and the elderly remain the most vulnerable groups when it comes to burns, with the majority of injuries preventable.

As well as a reminder to consciously think about keeping hot drinks out of reach and pans at the back of the hob, Burns Awareness Day is an opportunity to promote the importance of immediate first aid. Three small steps can make all the difference and help reduce the extent of the injury.

Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or firmly stuck to the wound).

Call for help for any burn larger than a 50p coin: 999, 111 or local GP for advice.

Cover with loose cling film while transferring to a hospital/GP surgery. Cling film should not be left on a burn for more than a few hours and only until wounds are assessed by health professionals.

Paul Drake

Paul Drake

Paul Drake, consultant plastic surgeon and burns lead at Queen Victoria Hospital, said: “Prevention really is the key to reducing the number and severity of injuries burns units like ours see. But the right first aid, given at the right time, can really make a difference. In fact, applying cool water up to three hours after the burn can significantly reduce the extent of the injury.

“The impact of a burn injury isn’t only physical but psychological too and can present life-long challenges for the individual and their family. What may have been a quick up of tea could have a much longer and significant impact. Please make sure you and your family know what to do because one day you could be the one providing that crucial immediate first aid.”

Image of steaming pots by Melanie Feuerer from Pixabay

For more information contact the QVH Press Office at qvh.communications@nhs.net