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A burn injury is for life. The scars are physical as well as psychological, and can present life-long challenges for the individual and their families.  What many people don’t know is that children and the elderly are the most vulnerable, and the majority of injuries occur as a result of an accident that could so easily have been prevented.

Latest statistics show hot drinks responsible for majority of daily
burns among UK children

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Latest statistics show alarming numbers of UK children are experiencing life-changing scald injuries as a result of tea and coffee spills every single day, the vast majority of which are preventable. 

The latest figures, released by the two leading organisations in burn prevention and support, show that in 2017 more than 3,500 children required admission to an NHS Burns Service following an accident with tea and coffee cups, as well as kettles. That’s more than 289 children every single month.

Prevention and good first aid are key to reducing the number of burns and scalds occurring among children in the UK every single day.

Good first aid following a burn or scald can make an enormous difference in recovery times and the severity of scarring. 

Two important things to remember are:

Cool, Call, Cover

  1. Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or firmly stuck to the wound)
  2. Call for help – 999, 111 or local GP for advice
  3. Cover with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure the patient is kept warm

Stop, Drop, roll

“Stop, drop and roll” is used when clothing catches fire. Children can get confused about when to stop, drop and roll. It is important to know when to do this. Children who do not have a good understanding of stop, drop and roll will sometimes do this if they burn a finger or need to get outside if the smoke alarm sounds. Only use stop, drop and roll when clothing catches fire.

Exclusive data shows the NHS burns services treated more than 15,000 patients for burns and scalds in 2017 at a cost of more than £20 million.

Some alarming facts and figures of the burns and scalds that are happening every day - taken from the International Burn Injury Database (iBID)

  • Hot drinks are the most common cause of scald injury in children – followed by contact with electric cookers, irons and hair straighteners.
  • Sunburn is a notable cause of injury in the 5 – 14 year age group, alongside seasonal activities such fireworks and bonfires.
  • Irons and Hair Straighteners take longer than you think to cool down – more than 667 children (0 –14 years) in 2017 were treated for severe burns from them.
  • 4,867 children under the age of 5 were so badly burnt that they had to be admitted to a NHS specialist burns service in 2017 – more than 13 toddlers every single day.
  • The most common place of injury is the home for children and the elderly. For adults it’s the workplace.
  • There is a clearly defined relationship between high rates of burn injuries and areas of social deprivation.