Broadcaster backs burns drive
Television personality Carol Hirschfeld is getting behind a campaign to stop children burning themselves with something as simple as a hot drink.
The mum of two read a burn prevention book to kids at the Auckland Hospital creche as part of the Safekids New Zealand Hot Drinks Burns campaign launch.
Ms Hirschfeld says she didn’t hesitate when Safekids, part of Starship Children’s Health’s injury prevention service, asked her to get involved.
“If you are a parent, you’re very familiar with having a cup of tea around a small child. It’s very easy for an accident to happen.”
She says an incident where a friend’s child pulled a frying pan full of hot fat on to herself has stuck in her mind.
“Before I had children, I recalled the scar on the side of her face and thought of it constantly when my children were babies.”
Middlemore Hospital clinical leader for burns Richard Wong She hopes the campaign will help limit the number of burns cases he sees.
“The death rate is very low but the morbidity rate is very high,” he says.
“There can be scarring and psychological trauma and surgery may be needed.”
Children commonly spill hot liquids on their faces and chests when they reach up for them, he says.
“Everyone thinks with modern technology we can fix a problem. The scary part is un- fortunately we can’t.”
But surgery is used more often than in the past to limit the damage, says Mr Wong She.
He sees a child with burns caused by hot liquid nearly every day, and severe cases about every two weeks.
Safekids NZ director Ann Weaver says a child’s skin is thinner than an adult’s so it burns more easily.
The organisation will be promoting the campaign through kindergartens, kohunga reo, the Fire Service and other channels.
Learning to stay safe: Carol Hirschfeld reads a burn prevention book to kids at Auckland Hospital’s creche as part of the Safekids New Zealand Hot Drinks Burns campaign launch.