Friday 27 April 2018

Parents warned of tea scalding risk as 233 Irish children treated for burns in 2016

Burns and scalds are preventable injuries that happen in seconds
Burns and scalds are preventable injuries that happen in seconds
Children have been accidentally scalded by hot drinks
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Children are ending up with significant burns after being accidentally scalded by hot drinks, a new study has revealed.

It said the injuries can be devastating and last a lifetime.

More public awareness is needed about the dangers of drinks like a cup of tea that spills on a small child, according to findings from doctors in the Department of Public Health, HSE Midlands and East.

They looked at 233 children in the course of the year who had to be treated in hospital for burn injuries.

The majority of them had suffered scalding and one third of these were caused by hot beverages.

More than three quarters of the children scalded by hot beverages ended up with partial thickness burns.

Burns and scalds are preventable injuries that happen in seconds, but leave physical and psychological scars that last a lifetime, said the authors, who presented their study to the winter scientific meeting of the Royal College of Physicians.

Children under the age of three have physical and cognitive characteristics that render them particularly vulnerable to these injuries. Parents do not always anticipate the risk for burns and scalds.

This may explain why interventions have been ineffective.

They said that hot beverages, even after cooling for 10 minutes with the addition of milk, can cause a full thickness burn in a child.

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