1 in 10 parents of under-fives admit their child has suffered a serious burn from hair straighteners or tongs.
Suddenly I heard a really horrible cry. Jack was on the floor screaming. I grabbed his little hand and saw how badly burnt it was – there were blisters all over his palm and fingers”
The findings, from Electrical Safety First and the Children’s Burns Trust, show that serious burns from hair straighteners are to blame for 1 in 20 of all admissions to specialist paediatric burns units.
Hair straighteners can get as hot as an iron. So hot, you can cook bacon and eggs on them and they can stay hot enough to burn up to 15 minutes after they’ve been turned off.
Many straightener injuries occur when crawling babies and toddlers grab at them, step on them, sit on them or pull them down.
Surprisingly, young children don’t have a reflex to automatically pull away from or drop something that’s burning them – it’s something that we learn.
Which is why hair straighteners cause deep burns that can scar for life.
More than 300 children are rushed to hospital each week with hot drink scalds. Most of them are very young children aged just one or two.
With your help, we want as many parents as possible to be aware of how hot drinks scalds happen, what impact they have and how to (very easily) prevent them.
What you should know:
- A baby’s skin is 15 times thinner than an adult’s. This is why they can be so badly hurt by a hot drink and may be left scarred for life.
- A hot drink with milk left standing for as long as ten minutes can still scald a baby or toddler in less than two seconds.
- Because they are just too young to understand danger, or to follow or remember instructions reliably, it’s up to the adults around them to keep them safe from hot drinks.
- The most common hot drink scald accident happens when a baby or toddler pulls a mug of hot drink down on themselves. This accounts for 6 in 10 of all hot drink scald accidents.
- Put your hot drink down well out of reach from little hands. Think of safe places in your home for hot drinks where you know your child can’t reach.
- Accidents also happen when a baby or toddler spills a hot drink onto themselves – often when they’re sat in a grown-up’s lap – or when an adult knocks or spills a hot drink over a child.
- Make sure you put your baby down before picking up your hot drink. Then you don’t have to worry about them wriggling in your lap or grabbing your mug.
Don’t pass hot drinks over a baby or young child’s head in case it spills on them.
Last updated: 21 November 2017