Saturday 25 November 2017

Christmas can be a recipe for disaster

This can be one of the times of year when children are at most risk of scalds and burns as kitchens become busier, cooks get distracted and more hazards loom.

The top causes of scalds are hot water, tea, coffee, hot foods, oil, cocoa, milk, a boiling kettle, a bath or shower and an accident at play.

A study of children treated for scalds and burns at Temple St Hospital in Dublin showed:

• Mean age was 42 months (three years six months)

• 79pc of all scald-related patients were less than five years old.

• June was the month with the single highest attendance rate, accounting for 14pc overall.

• The first six months of the year showed consistently higher attendances as compared to the last six months.

The worst time for accidents is in the late morning/early afternoon when the morning work has been completed. This could be to do with the fact that children are generally supervised less around this time.

Results are consistent with the findings of previous scald studies that have also demonstrated that there are two peak periods during the day when scalds tend to occur.

Pulling pots off the cooker or pouring water from the kettle directly onto the child were among the accidents recorded.

Safety tips include:

• Keep young children away from sources of fire. This includes fires, matches, candles and cigarettes.

• Turn the handles of all cooking pots away from the reach of children. A curious or energetic child can easily knock over a cooking pot.

• Do not leave hot dishes on the edge of tables either.

• Keep steam away from children. The steam from boiling kettles or steaming pots is dangerously hot and can burn or scald easily.

• Take care of objects sitting near or next to a fire or stove. Objects made of glass and metal can become very hot sitting next to a fire source.

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