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Hot drinks responsible for majority of daily burns among UK children

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. Leicester’s Hospitals helped to raise awareness of this on National Burn Awareness Day (17th October, 2018)

LEICESTER, UK — The Children’s Burns Trust, together with the British Burn Association, have released exclusive insight from the International Burn Injury Database to raise awareness of burn prevention and burn-related first aid on National Burn Awareness Day 2018.

The latest figures, released by the two leading organisations in burn prevention and support, show that in 2017 more than 3500 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.

The Children’s Burns Trust, whose work is focused on children and their families, want to highlight these alarming figures which, shockingly only relate to the more serious injuries and do not include the thousands who were seen for more minor burns and scalds in A&E departments up and down the country.

The charity’s key message on National Burn Awareness Day 2018 is that prevention and good first aid are key to reducing the number of burns and scalds occurring among children in the UK every single day. The leading charity also has the support of actor Amanda Redman MBE.

Amanda, patron of the Children’s Burns Trust, said: “I am once again supporting National Burn Awareness Day on 17th October 2018. As a child, I suffered burns on my whole body when a pot of boiling soup poured over me. I know from personal experience the impact a burn injury can have on a child and their family.

“As was the case with my own injury, significant numbers of children in the UK are badly injured in scalding accidents involving hot liquids. Data released from the Children’s Burns Trust and the British Burn Association for National Burn Awareness Day show that in 2017 the number of children injured by spills was around 3,500.

“To bring the figure to life, that’s nearly 10 children a day across the UK. Together we must look to reduce these numbers, through raising awareness of how such accidents can be prevented. I am proud to lend my support.”

Hundreds of NHS Services, Fire and Rescue Services, along with other organisations, come together each year on National Burn Awareness Day to raise awareness of the alarming number of people burned each and every day in the UK. The campaign also helps to promote the vital message of the importance of good first aid if a burn or scald does occur.

Claire Porter, advanced nurse practitioner and lead nurse for burns and plastics at Leicester’s Hospitals said, “In Leicester, we see burns on a daily basis in our emergency department. Most commonly burns happen in the home. Scalds caused by hot drinks for toddlers remains our top source for burns.

“Many burns are preventable and twenty minutes under a cool running tap can prevent the burn becoming deeper and reduce long term scarring. This time of year we are celebrating Diwali, Bonfire Night, Halloween; all which involve candles and fireworks, so take care to keep these well away from young children.

“Last year we saw lots of burns from burst hot water bottles. Please don’t put freshly boiled water directly into the bottle and check they are not split before you use them.”

There have already been several awareness events taking place across Leicester for National Burn Awareness Day.

On Thursday 27 September, Leicester’s Hospitals burns team met with Leicestershire Partnership Trust (LPT) children’s services and shared the National Burn Prevention Toolkit with them. The team delivered a presentation at a board meeting with leads for school nursing, health visitors and other children’s services present.

Claire said, “We discussed ideas of how these services can support our burns first aid message on a larger scale. We have some future engagements which we are in the process of confirming such as the joint family fun day at Leicester University in conjunction with the Trust and LPT.”

Leicester’s Hospitals burns team have also been working with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, liaising on ways to spread the message about fire safety and burn prevention. This includes some planned school visits where the fire service and burns team will join up to help educate children on the dangers of fire, fire safety, and burn prevention.

There was a burns team presence at Brookside Primary parents evening on October 10. They were invited to attend the school parents evening to share burn prevention and first aid information and advice with the parents and children.

Today there will be an education stand and cake sale on Ward 9 at Leicester Royal Infirmary. There will be a quiz for patients and staff, and the opportunity to win a FitBit. In the afternoon, the burns team will visit a local secondary school.

Claire said: “As this is also Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, one of my nurses is joining one of the Patient Volunteers from our support group and holding an education stand this afternoon at Abbey Lane Asda Supermarket.”

Tomorrow, on Thursday 18 October, two burns nurses will be present in the Emergency Department at Leicester Royal for the day, sharing information with staff and the public around burn prevention and national first aid advice.