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Burns Awareness

Last updated  15 October 2018

Every day, 130 children are seen in Emergency Departments with burns in England and Wales. The most common causes of burns and scalds in children under 5 are:

Scalds from hot drinks, bath water, boiling kettles and pans

Contact with hot household appliances such as cooker hobs, hair straighteners and irons

Burns from hot heating appliances such as fires, log burners, radiators and pipes.

We can give fire safety talks to groups of families with pre-school children, where we can provide a free heat pouch if needed.

Contact us to book a talk. 

Hot things burn me image

Things you can do to prevent burns

Hot appliances

- Keep hot appliances out of reach of children. Check hair straightners and irons are cooling down somewhere safe.

- Check appliance cables are not hanging down, which children could pull on.

- Keep secure fire guards in front of open fires, log burners, heaters and radiators and take care with children around BBQs.



- Keep candles, matches and lighters out of children's sight and reach.

- Flamable materials including fancy dress clothes can catch fire very easily. Be careful if your children are wearing them near flames.

- Bonfires should be built away from the house, sheds, fences and trees. Have a bucket of water or a hose nearby in case of emergencies and keep children and pets away.


Celebration safety

We would always recommend attending an organised bonfire or fireworks display, but if you do host your own:

- Follow instructions on each firework using a torch to read them.

- Keep a bucket of water nearby.

- Light fireworks at arms length.

- Never return to a lit firework, even if it hasn't gone off.



Children's skin is a lot more sensitive than adult's. Always:

- Slip on a t-shirt.

- Slap on a sunhat.

- Slop on some sunblock (factor 50 for children).

Things you can do to prevent scalds

In the bathroom

- Always run the cold water first in the bath or sink before adding hot water.

- Check the temperature with your elbow or a thermometer.

- You can fix a thermostatic mixer to your bath tap so that the water does not get too hot.


In the kitchen

- Point the handles of saucepans away from the side of the hob, and move kettles out of children's reach.


Hot drinks

- Put all hot drinks out of the reach of children. A hot drink can still scald a child up to 15 minutes after being poured.

- Do not drink hot drinks with a baby on your lap, or pass hot drinks over them.

First aid

Stop the heat.

Cool the burn with running tap water for 20 minutes.

Call for help (999, 111 or local GP for advice).

Cover with clingfilm or sterile, non-fluffy dressing.


Burns Awareness Campaign Poster 2018

Beds Fire


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