Hot drinks cause most scalding of children
Published 02/11/2011 | 05:00
HOT drinks, particularly tea, account for the majority of scalds suffered by small children, according to a new study.
Other culprits are hot solids, bath water, pots pulled off stoves and water from a kettle, according to the findings of a study of burns and scalds treated at Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin.
The findings, published in the 'Irish Medical Journal', showed that 79pc of all children treated for scalds over the course of a year were aged under five. The average age of the young patient was three years and six months.
Doctors from Temple Street emergency department, who carried out the research, said there were two peaks associated with scald injuries -- in the late morning and early afternoon and in the evening.
"It is thought that at these times of day children are generally supervised less. Previous scald studies also demonst-rated that there are two peak periods during the day."
They explained: "The most affected (areas) were the arm and the chest. Overall the upper body was twice as likely to sustain a scald injury as compared to the lower body.
"Children at highest risk of sustaining a burn in the home are young, especially those under four. Older children are more likely to sustain a burn when outside the home."
The doctors said these kind of of injuries had been falling, which may be due to a number of factors, including parents being better informed.
They also pointed to the introduction of guidelines which suggest capping the maximum temperature of hot water from household taps at 50 degrees celsius.
"This is particularly important as water kept at 50 degrees or under takes five minutes of continuous exposure to cause a scald, as opposed to five seconds at 60 degrees," they added.