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Young children and babies have much more sensitive skin than adults and will burn much more easily - to prevent accident by burning, avoid exposure to sources of burn injuries. Most burn injuries are preventable and yet every year thousands of children are taken to hospital with burn injuries. Here are some of the common causes, and what you can do to prevent such injuries:-
- Scalds: caused by hot liquids touching the skin, common cause of scalding include:-
- hot baths are the easiest mistake to make, babies and young children need a bath much cooler than we would have; children's baths should be tepid rather than warm, and never hot
- hot drink spillages such as tea or coffee: keep hot drinks away from children at all times, don't place them on the floor and don't rest them close to the edge on higher surfaces
- kettle and saucepan accidents are too common - ensure your kitchen is safe, boil pans on the back stoves, make sure frying pans aren't spitting boiling oil and fat and make sure that the flex from your kettle and any electrical cookers are out of reach
- steam is hotter than 100°C and rises around cooking, kettles and hot drinks - make sure you keep anything steaming well away from children
- Sunburn: the most common burns are caused by exposure to the sun; make sure that babies and young children are well covered in the sun, apply plenty of sun cream and re-apply throughout the day, provide shade for babies with parasols or tents
- Electrical burns: fortunately these are amongst the rarest forms of accident in children because modern regulations surrounding electrical safety are so good, but ensure that your children aren't able to reach electrical cables, and make sure that your plug sockets adhere to current safety standards - if they are old, replace them!
- Contact with flame: children should rarely be exposed to direct flame but be vigilant when there is flame around, such as at the summer BBQ, birthday candles and near an open fire in winter.
- Chemical burns: chemicals and children should never mix - make sure that your household cleaning fluids are kept in a cupboard safe from children, ensure that you don't have acid leaking from old batteries in toys, keep children indoors when using chemicals in the garden (eg. weedkillers, fence treatment, drain and patio cleaners).
The majority of accidental burns are entirely avoidable, and by being aware of likely risks, you can make sure that your children are kept safe.