Treating a burn on a child

HOT DRINKS BURN.  A cup of coffee spilt over a baby is the same as tipping a bucket of boiling water over an adult.  More than 5 children are admitted to hospital every week in NZ with severe burns.  And of the 1 -2 year olds admitted to hospital every year with severe burns, over half are burnt by hot drinks and other liquids. 

The GOOD news?  It’s preventable!  Save your cuppa for when you’re not holding your baby.  And be really careful in cafés (now that we can all return to cafés after the lockdown)  -  move the highchair away from the table with the hot drinks.  I know parents who take a travel mug with them when they order their coffee in a café.  If the drink is knocked over, a secure lid likely won’t come off.  Plus there’s the added bonus that when your toddler has finished her fluffy and wants to be on the move NOW, you can leave  -  and take your coffee with you! 

At bath time, run the cold water into the bath first.  The water in your hot water cylinder needs to be hot enough to kill any bacteria in the tank, but talk to a plumber about installing a tempering valve so that the water coming out of the bathroom tap isn’t so hot. 

First Aid for burns:   

Hold the burnt area under cool running water for 20 minutes.  Start the cooling process IMMEDIATELY.  Be aware of the possibility of hypothermia in babies so putting the baby in a cold bath isn't necessarily a great idea.  Try to just put cool water on the actual burnt area, not the whole baby. 

Don’t burst any blisters. 

As you cool, remove clothing from the burned area  -  but if clothing is stuck to the burn, just leave it.  Don’t pull it off. 

After cooling, loosely cover the burn with clean non-fluffy material.  Plastic food wrap is great, but never use this around the face, or on a baby or young child who might pull the wrap off and smother on it. 

Seek medical advice.  In an emergency, phone 111. 


This product has been added to your cart