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Hot drinks in children are the most common cause of emergency rooms in clinics
Scalding from hot drinks is one of the most common serious injuries to young children. In addition, many parents do not seem to know how to properly provide first aid in such cases.
Briefly put the cup of hot tea down to have your hands free for something else, and it can happen: The toddler gets the cup, it tilts over and the hot tea causes severe scalding in the child. Parents should always consider the risk associated with hot drinks and should also be familiar with the necessary first aid measures in the event of an emergency.
"SafeTea" campaign launched
Hot drinks are the leading cause of emergency admission for children under the age of five, the Children's Burns Research Center at the University of Bristol warns in a recent announcement. In addition, only every fourth child receives adequate first aid before hospital admission. Therefore, the "SafeTea" campaign was launched, which is aimed specifically at parents, grandparents and caregivers of children.
The key messages of the campaign are:
- Keep hot drinks away from young children.
- Do not drink hot drinks while carrying a baby.
- Never hold a hot drink over the heads of young children.
- Use a safe place to place hot drinks out of the reach of small children.
- In the event of burns, contact the emergency call immediately, cool the burns with cold water (for a maximum of 20 minutes) and then cover the affected area with transparent film.
Serious consequences from burns
"Burns from hot drinks can cause serious and extensive skin damage in a toddler, with lifelong scars and the need for medical treatment into adulthood," emphasizes Prof. Alison Kemp from the Medical Faculty of Cardiff University. Therefore, parents should always make sure to keep hot drinks out of the reach of small children, the doctor warns.
Many children's emergency rooms due to burns
Research has shown that more than 50,000 children in the UK are hospitalized with burns each year, most of them under the age of five, reports Prof. Emond. Hot beverage scalds are responsible for 60 percent of these hospitalizations in children under the age of three. That is 30 small children every day across the UK.
Injuries are often avoidable
The campaign's key messages are: "Keep hot drinks out of the reach of children, never hold a hot beverage over a child, or never hold a drink and a baby at the same time," said Prof. Alan Emond of Bristol Medical School. "There are thousands of hot beverage incidents that could have prevented devastating injuries in a few simple steps," adds Prof. Kemp.
How to react in an emergency?
If a child still scalds himself with hot drinks, the area should be immediately cooled under running water (for around 20 minutes); contact the emergency call and, after cooling, cover the affected skin area with transparent film. “The moments immediately after a burn are the most critical time in terms of long-term damage and scars,” emphasizes Prof. By acting quickly and correctly, the consequences of the burns can be significantly alleviated. (fp)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters
- University of Bristol: Hot drinks are the most common cause of burns to young children (published 16.10.2019), bristol.ac.uk