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Burns and Scalds

Burns hurt and can happen in a fraction of a second.

Get smart and stay one step ahead.  Find out what is most likely to cause burns in your home, based on Jersey data.

The number one cause for burns in the under fives was from hot drinks. Some hot drinks are being left in accessible places to cool and children are pulling the scalding drinks over themselves.

What you need to know                                                                 

Be extra careful in the kitchen - especially when cooking, using the  oven or taking hot things out of the microwave.

Spilt hot drinks are the biggest reason for burns so take care where you leave your hot chocolate (ooh extra marshmallows please!) - not on the table edge but at the back. Remember, hot food burns too so carry it carefully.

And of course the sun, it's that yellow thing in the sky that comes out when it can be bothered.

Remember it now?!?

You need to stop it burning your skin otherwise you will look like a wrinkled raisin when you're older. So that's sun cream (at least factor 30), hat, sun glasses, T-shirt and cool drinks. Oh yes, remember to put more cream on throughout the day and try to stay out of the sun when it is at its hottest, that's between 11am and 3pm!

Take care near the iron, it takes a long time to cool down. Think of hair straighteners as being
an iron for your hair!  Treat them the same, in fact they get even hotter than an iron.

And remember, make sure that your bath water's not too hot!

In 2010 Jersey's Accident Department saw many children with burns, nearly half of those were in children aged under 5 years.

Children have much thinner skin than adults that easily burns and hot water that would not effect an adult could easily scald a child.


  • Always check the bath temperature with your elbow - it should feel neither too hot or too cold.
  • Never have your baby and a hot drink in your arms at the same time - they can move suddenly and your drink could be spilt - it can still burn up to 15 minutes after it has been made.
  • Take care when making babies feed - using a microwave increases the risk of burning babies mouth - it's best to use a bottle warmer or stand it in hot water
  • Babies under 6 months should not be in the sun.. Their skin is so thin and is very sensitive to sun cream chemicals.


Keep hot drinks away from children

  • Children are 'on the move' children and they like to copy adults.
  • Keep the drink at the back of a surface away from small hands.

Be aware of hot oven hobs, kettles & saucepans

  • Use the back oven rings first as hands on hot hobs are common.
  • Keep kettles at the back of the counter with a short flex.
  • Remember after cooking saucepans are still hot when empty and can still burn.
  • Ideally keep a stairgate on the kitchen door to keep children out, or use a playpen.

Keep a cooling iron and hair straighteners far out of reach

  • Irons pullled onto the child by the flex causes nasty burns - in fact do you have to iron at all? if so what about when the child is asleep?
  • Keep the iron well out of reach.
  • Hair straighteners sat on or picked up causes severe burns - cool them in the pouch or far out of reach.

Hot bath water can be turned on by a child

  • Consider a thermostatic valve that regulates the water, preventing it coming out of the tap too hot.


  • Electrical chargers burn, from an Xbox to a mobile phone when put in the mouth - keep them unplugged when not in use.
  • Radiators and hot pipes - think about insulating them to keep prying fingers away
  • Motorbike exhausts - standing close to a roaring bike is exciting, but too close causes burns to the legs - keep your distance.
  • Cooking and carrying hot food - children need to be taught these skills - teach them and supervise
  • Sun burn is painful and increases the risk of sking cancer when children are older.  Remember high factor childrens sun cream.  Re-apply regularly, especially after being in the water or drying with a towel.  Keep in the shade if you can between 11am and 3pm.  Protect the eyes with sunglasses, take plenty of water and wear a hat!