At Mini First Aid we are all too aware of the horrendous mental and physical scars of a serious burn to a child, and as a result, the impact to the whole family.
We feel it is essential to raise awareness about burns - immediate first aid treatment can make a HUGE difference to the outcome of a burn when done properly. We are proud to work closely with the Children’s Burns Trust to make sure our first aid training is completely up to date, and bring you the best advice for treating burns at home.
Children with burns - what are the statistics?
- In 2020, 8013 children were seriously burned or scalded, needing treatment in a Specialist Burns Unit. 5785 of these children were under 5. This shocking figure doesn’t even include the 1000s seen and discharged in A&E
- The most common place of injury is in the home
- 30 babies and toddlers go to hospital with a hot drink burn EVERY DAY
- 596 children were treated for burns from curling irons and hair straighteners in 2020
Don’t forget that a burn injury is FOR LIFE. Being burned or scalded can mean years of painful treatment.
Burns prevention safety guidance - the Do's:
- Do install smoke alarms on each floor of your house and test regularly
- Do keep hot drinks out of reach of babies and young children
- Do make and practise Fire Escape Plans with the whole family
- Do run COLD water first in the bath or sink before adding hot water – test the temperature
- Do keep saucepans at the back of the stove NOT near the front – turn handles to the back
- Do keep kettles, irons, hair straighteners or wires out of reach
- Do keep secure fire screens in front of open fires, heaters and radiators
- Do store matches and lighters out of reach
- Do store chemicals, cleaners and acids out of reach
Burns prevention safety guidance - the Don'ts:
- Don't drink hot drinks while nursing/holding a baby or child
- Don't put a baby or child into a bath or sink until the water has been tested
- Don't warm baby bottles in the microwave
- Don't leave hair straighteners unattended
- Don't allow children near BBQs or garden chemicals
- Don't allow children near fireworks
- Don't leave children unattended in the kitchen, bathroom or near fires and heaters
Little Bella was 4 when she pulled a pan of scalding water over herself, leaving her with life long scars. Her mum has shared her story with the Children’s Burns Trust saying “I hope that our story will help at least one person to avoid such a horrendous journey.”
She adds “I want to raise awareness for burn injuries. It is so easy to think “Oh it would never happen to us” and that is exactly what we thought. Bella is a very sensible little girl. She very much knows what is right or wrong.”
Despite this, on 29th February 2020, Bella pulled a pan of boiling water from the hob, resulting in a 7 day stay in a specialist burns unit. Bella and her family have had an extremely difficult time, from the initial trauma, to being blue lighted to hospital, only to return to hospital with toxic shock syndrome - not to mention numerous treatments with morphine and under general anaesthetic because the pain was just too much to bear. Poor Bella has lifelong scarring, which is proving incredibly difficult and painful to treat.
What should I do if my child suffers a burn?
It’s really important to stay calm and act quickly. What you do immediately following the burn can hugely impact the severity of any injury or scarring which may occur. Babies and children will not want to be held under cool water for 20 minutes, and will most likely be very distressed, but doing this can make all the difference to the outcome of the burn. So try to stay calm and reassure them this will help make them better. Where it is possible, keep the rest of their body warm whilst cooling the burn, although for a larger area like Bella's burn, you may need to use your shower.
We hope this collaboration with the Children’s Burns Trust has been helpful in enabling you to think about the areas of your home that might present burn hazards, and what you need to do should an accident occur.
All the best, The Mini First Aid family x
To find out more about The Children’s Burns Trust please visit their website
BurnSoothe - your ideal kitchen companion
This unassuming little bottle should be in every family's kitchen drawer. From minor burns on the oven (we've all done it and got one of those "stripy" burns), to cooling and soothing whilst you make your way to A&E for burn treatment, this little bottle has seen it all in my house.
Following the recommended 20 minutes under cool water, apply this gentle gel to the burned area to relieve pain and aid recovery.