Nearly 900 accidents last year, which caused extreme damage to fewer than two-year-olds, could be prevented if spills of hot drinks were prevented, figures show

Thousands of children need hospital treatment for burns related to hot food and drink, statistics show.


Figures from the NHS show that in the past five years 35,000 people under the age of 16 have been in need of specialist care in England and Wales.

Half of these (17,052) incidents were associated with burns that children experienced from hot food, as well as tea and coffee.

The Royal College of Surgeons and the British Burns Association have now issued a warning about the dangers of hot drinks.

They have urged both parents to keep hot drinks away from the edges of tables and counter tops where they can be reached by children.

And the bodies, who analyzed the data, said that cups of tea can still burn children 15 minutes after they are made.

Nearly 900 accidents last year, which caused extreme damage to fewer than two-year-olds, could be prevented if spills of hot drinks were prevented, figures show


Nearly 900 accidents last year, which caused extreme damage to fewer than two-year-olds, could be prevented if spills of hot drinks were prevented, figures show

Both the RCS and the BBA support a SafeTea campaign to prevent serious burns from boiling mugs of tea or coffee.

They warned that children years of & # 39; heavy & # 39; can undergo surgery after burns that are completely preventable.

Andrew Williams, consultant plastic surgeon at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, who specializes in burns, said: “Burns are common and can be devastating. Tragically, they are too common.

& # 39; The only thing that is needed is that a small child pulls a kettle cord or topples a cup of tea, and they can scar for life.

& # 39; Every second counts when it comes to treating a new burn, so it is vital that parents know basic first aid – especially the importance of running burnt skin under cold water, for example. & # 39;


Plastic surgeons from the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS) and the British Burn Association have given help advice for a burn.


To prevent burns at home TO DO:

  • Let cold water run into the bath or sink before adding hot water – test the temperature.
  • Keep pans on the back of the cooker and not on the front – turn the handles backwards.
  • Keep hot drinks out of the reach of a child.


  • Drink hot drinks while feeding a baby or child
  • Place a baby or child in a bath or wash basin until the water has been tested
  • Warm baby bottles in microwaves.
  • Leave children unattended in the kitchen.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said: & We also recommend using a rolled-up flex or a wireless kettle to prevent it from being pulled down and to use straighteners out of reach of young children & # 39;

Fadi Issa is a plastic surgeon advisor at the Regional Burns Unit of Stoke Mandeville Hospital, a former RCS investigator on burn reconstruction: & A recent study conducted at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and the University of Oxford, and part – funded by the RCS, shows what a difference cooling a burn can make.

& # 39; Our advice is simple: 15-20-25. Leave burned or burned skin under water at 15 ° C for 20 minutes – and you can reduce the depth of a burn by up to 25 percent.


& # 39; This treatment can turn a deep burn that requires surgery into one that only requires simple bandages to heal.

& # 39; The other important information is not to place lotions or drinks on a cold fire. Cover it in cling film and seek emergency medical assistance. & # 39;

Patients may need multiple operations and skin transplants as they age, as their skin continues to grow.

Mr. Williams said: & Repairing a serious burn or burns can be physically demanding and can affect the entire family.

& # 39; Scar tissue may not grow with young children, with the resulting need for possible years of surgery and therapy.


& # 39; The path to recovery can also be very psychologically challenging, especially if a person has visible scars.

& # 39; That is why it is so important that we all – and especially parents of young children – are aware of the simple steps they can take to reduce the risk of such accidents. & # 39;

In 2018 alone there were 6,645 child admissions to designated specialist NHS burn services in England and Wales.

The team of doctors is trained to deal with the most complex burns and is different from at A&E.

A total of 3,119 (47 percent) of these children suffered burns from hot food or spilled drinks. The rest were from other causes, such as fire or oven doors.


More than half – 1,576 – concerned children younger than two years old, of which nearly 900 could be caused by spilling tea or coffee.

The statistics do not include minor injuries, such as when patients are treated by a GP or at A&E.

Between 2014 and 2018, when the data was collected, the number of burn wounds fell by eight percent and by 14 percent for spillage.

Annually, around 130,000 people with burn wounds visit emergency departments and around 10,000 are admitted to the hospital.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said that burns and burns affect very young children, but also the elderly, because of the sensitivity of their skin.

A spokesperson told MailOnline: & # 39; RoSPA recommends that hot drinks be kept away from the edges of tables and countertops because they can still burn a child 15 minutes after they are made, and we also advise parents and caregivers to no hot drink to hold and child at the same time.

& # 39; Hot bath water is responsible for the most serious burns in young children.

& # 39; We recommend running the cold water first and always testing the water temperature with your elbow before a child takes a bath. & # 39;

Katrina Phillips, general manager of The Child Accident Prevention Trust, said: & Place your hot drink somewhere high enough to be out of your toddler's reach.

& # 39; And put your baby on his chair or bed before picking up your drink. It quickly becomes a habit that you don't even have to think about. & # 39;


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