#Bewareofburns – New safety promotion partnership could significantly reduce burn injuries

Buy Wise Be Safe (BWBS) and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) have got together to form a new partnership which is set to address ways in which families can stay safe by making simple changes to their routine and environment, to prevent accidents from happening.

To launch the partnership, BWBS and UH Bristol will be promoting a safety campaign, focused on burns caused by heated beauty products including straighteners and hot brushes. #Bewareofburns will go live on Monday 5 June, which will coincide with Child Safety Week (5 – 11 June). Information and advice will be available online for parents and carers to access, with tips on how to safely use heated beauty products, what safety features to look for when buying these items and what to do in an event when someone gets burnt.

Recent statistics from Bristol Royal Hospital for Children shows a staggering 90 per cent of children admitted with burns from hair straighteners were under the age of five. The data also found there wasn’t a difference in the number of boys and girls burnt.

Mr Jonathon Pleat, burns lead at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Buy Wise Be Safe, to promote safety and to try and prevent accidents from happening.

“Although this campaign is targeted at parents and carers of children under the age of five, we are hopeful this information and guidance is of use to anyone using heated beauty products, to protect themselves from being burnt or injured.

“We see children from across the South West and Wales with burn injuries and treat them with the skilled team in our national burns centre. However, we want to prevent as many of these cases as possible from occurring through simple measures that can reduce the risk dramatically.

“A child’s skin is much more fragile than an adult.  It only takes a second at the temperature which some of these devices reach to cause permanent scarring. In some cases, burns may appear in more than one place as a result of grabbing or stepping on the heated blade surfaces.   The risk is greatly reduced if items such as tongs or hair straighteners are placed out the reach of children or put in the supplied protective covers while the surfaces are hot.  Further, it is vital to purchase devices with safety features that can reduce the risk – for example, some have a timer that automatically turns the power off after a certain amount of time.

“These burns are all the more tragic because typically they affect the very young, the effects can be life-long and they are entirely preventable.”

Stuart Radnedge, spokesman for Buy Wise Be Safe, said: “Over the last year the National Trading Standards Safety at Ports and Borders Teams have detained a number of consignments of electrical beauty products such as hair straighteners and hot brushes. Following testing these products have been found to not comply with standards required by UK and EU law and have therefore been destroyed.

“While National Trading Standards is working hard to prevent unsafe goods reaching consumers we would always recommend that people undertake basic checks when buying online, to ensure they are buying from a reputable seller. Our general rule of thumb is if an online deal looks too good to be true then it probably is.

“It’s not just cheap or knock-off goods that pose a threat to consumers. Any item that heats up has the potential to scald or burn someone. Sadly, with straighteners and tongs reaching temperatures of 230°C, these items can remain hot long after use, which is why it is important to stow them safely and look for safety features that can reduce the likelihood of being burnt.

“Thankfully with our new partnership with UH Bristol, even more parents and carers of under 5s should receive superb safety advice that will help keep youngsters safe from harm around the home.”

Visit www.buywisebesafe.org.uk for the website, www.facebook.com/buywisebesafe for the Facebook page, and www.twitter.com/buywisebesafe for the Twitter page.

Day ten advice for #12daysofsafety

Despite being Winter, the chance of your child getting burned is incredibly high if you do not take precautions. The kitchen is a hive of activity during Christmas with ovens always seeming to be cooking something, and pans of water boiling for hours on end as Christmas puddings are steamed to perfection. While it may be obvious to some, keep your young children out of the kitchen!

  • Keep little ones out of the kitchen while Christmas dinner is being cooked to avoid hot fat, boiling water and sharp knives! Also, when it comes to serving the food, remember to not pass hot food around the dinner table as it could fall out of your hand and badly burn your child.
  • Check out our sections on this site regarding burns as a lot of the information we have provided about hot drinks, food and cooking applies to this time of the year.
  • If you’re straightening your hair, or have a hairdryer on, be sure to place them somewhere that is out of reach for your child. Straighteners heat to 230°c and can take up to 30 minutes to cool down.

Remember, a child aged 0-5 has skin that is 15 times thinner than that of an adult. Encourage them to learn that the kitchen, when someone is cooking, is not a place they should be!

Summer Safety Campaign – Week Five

In our final week of advice relating to Summer Safety, we offer some more general advice which should ensure playtime in your garden is also safe as well as fun!

Clear the area

Inside your home we encourage you to try and see things through your child’s eyes. The messages about turning saucepan handles away from the front edge of the hob, or leaving knives on the side of your kitchen worktop, are widely known and understood. But a similar view should be taken to your garden as well.
Make sure your shed or garage is locked, especially if inside you have a number of sharp or blunt objects like hammers, drill bits, chisels, and Stanley knives – for example. Also, once it is locked, make sure the key isn’t stored somewhere your child can locate it.
If you are gardening, make sure all tools are kept out of the reach of your children. Also, if you have a lawnmower, use it and put it away – immediately after use. A child could accidentally turn it on and injure themselves very quickly.

Pet Waste

Not only would your child falling in animal waste be unpleasant for them, and you having to clean it off of them, but it can also lead to your child getting sick – or even blindness. Dog waste often contains roundworm larvae – which can cause blindness in people – but especially children. Youngsters are most at risk as they are more likely to put things in their mouth and less likely to wash their hands. Around 50 children a year in the UK suffer blindness as a result of toxocariasis (which is the illness related to the human infection of parasitic roundworms).

Ensure your garden is cleared of all animal waste regularly before your child plays outside. Also make sure litter trays are out of reach of children and any sand pits you may have, for your child to use, are covered overnight to avoid animals burying their waste in the sand.

Other tips

Just like the advice states above here, take time to see your garden from your child’s eyes. Consider how you can make steps safe in your garden and block-off any raised elements where your child could fall from height.

Also, if you are using weed killers, slug pellets or other poisons, care will need to be taken when using these – and then allowing your child to play in the same area. This is as all of these can harm children if ingested or touched.