Published: Tuesday 28 January 2020

Sadly more than 300 children are taken to hospital every week following a scald by a hot drink. The majority of these children (around 90%) are under the age of two.

A baby’s skin is around 15 times thinner than that of an adult which is why their skin is so sensitive and can scar easily. A hot drink can still scald a child even 15 minutes after being made.

Given that most of the scalding accidents caused by hot drinks happen to babies and toddlers - in other words, children too young to understand danger or effectively follow instructions - it is always the adult’s responsibility to ensure that hot drinks are kept safe and out of reach. Take a look around your house and identify places that are safely out of baby’s reach. 6 out of 10 drink scalds occur when a drink is pulled down from a higher surface.

Another situation that can result in scalds, is when spills are made. This might be because an adult is drinking a hot drink whilst baby is sat in their lap or when a drink is being passed over the head of a child. Think about where baby is in relation to any hot drink that can scald and make sure you put baby down somewhere safe (not on a high surface!) before you pick up your drink.

As with many situations around the home, once you take a few minutes to think about it and then develop the habit, accidents can be avoided.

Want to know more about accident prevention and what to do when an accident does occur? We run both First Aid for Parents courses as well as Paediatric First Aid courses for childcare professionals. If you can’t make one of our open course dates, get in touch about arranging a course in the comfort of your home or workplace.


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