Avoid distress of hot cuppa horrors
It’s an everyday scene. Mum drinking a hot cuppa while carrying her baby. Dad placing his coffee at the edge of a table as his baby plays at his feet. The cuppa spills and baby is hospitalised with deep burn injuries
No. It than you
Yes. happens more might think.
Safekids New Zealand advises all parents to be extra careful when consuming or handling hot liquids around children, especially during the coming cold months.
According to Safekids, of children aged one to two years old hospitalised due to severe burn injuries, over half are burned by spilt hot drinks (tea and coffee) and other liquids (such as soups and noodles).
Safekids also said while fatalities were few, hot substance burns (liquids, surfaces, objects) caused at least three times the number of children admitted to hospitals compared to burns from fire and flame. It is estimated that almost six children are burnt severely enough to be hospitalised each week.
Ann Weaver, director of Safekids, said the dangers posed by hot liquids being split on children were often underestimated.
‘‘A child’s skin is thinner than an adult’s, so hot liquids burn quicker, deeper and at lower temperatures. In normal conditions, a hot cuppa that was made 15 minutes previously, can still burn a young child,’’ she said.
‘‘Hot water burns like fire and a single hot drink spilled over a baby is equivalent to a bucket of boiling water over an adult.’’
Safekids said that severely burned babies often required multiple operations and treatments.
‘‘ Burnt children and their traumatised families will have to deal with the consequences of these injuries for the rest of their lives,’’ Ms Weaver said.
Below are tips from Safekids and Burn Support Charitable Trust which identify a number of ways to avoid hot cuppa horrors:
First Aid: Apply running water from the cold tap gently over the burn for at least 20 minutes. If in any doubt regarding the burn, seek medical advice immediately.
Always keep hot drinks out of reach, near the centre of a table, not at the edge.
Never hold a child and a hot drink at the same time and be aware of children when holding a hot drink.
Actively supervise children.