Even small takeaway hot-beverage cups can cause serious burns, warns mum

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One mum learned the hard way how even the simplest of things can cause severe injury. Now, she wants to warn other mums to keep them from making the same mistake...

For mums on the go, each morning is a flurry of activity. They make sure everyone is fed, dressed, and ready to face the day. But as speedily as they go about their day, unexpected accidents can happen just as quickly. One mum found out about this the hard way when her 16-month-old was scalded badly by her takeaway cup of tea. In a lengthy Facebook post, which has been shared over 4,500 times since it was posted on February 28, mum Suzie Fogarty warns against baby burn risks: 

“Our 16-month-old son Jake had a horrible accident with a freshly made cup of tea from a cafe,” she writes, “it was in one of those takeaway paper cups with a plastic lid which for some reason always seem so much hotter than a homemade one.”

She goes on to explain how a child’s skin is more delicate than adults. Sadly, not a lot of parents know what to do when it comes to dealing with common injuries such as burns. 

Mum warns about unexpected baby burn risks

baby burn risks

The mum shared some tips she learned from her doctor to help parents prevent baby burn risks. | Image source: Suzie Fogarty Facebook page

“Don’t make the same mistake as I did… please keep hot drinks well and truly out of their reach,” Fogarty urges in the post, adding some tips she got from their family doctor after the frightening incident:

Don’t panic

First off, don’t panic. “The quicker you act, the more chance you have of saving your child from a more severe permanent injury,” warns Fogarty. So if you find yourself in a similar situation, keep a cool head and take action quickly.

Keep hot clothing away from their skin

Remove all of your child’s clothing — even diapers and jewellery — unless it’s melted onto their skin. This is “to stop the burn spreading and getting deeper,” she explains.

Apply cool water to burns

Keep the burn under cold running water for 10 minutes — AT LEAST. And do so as quickly as possible, even though it might be challenging for mums of babies and toddlers. 

“As you can imagine keeping a toddler under a stream of cool water for more than 10 seconds is hard,” relates Fogarty, stressing the importance of cold water in keeping the burn from getting deeper.

“The deeper the burn, the more chance a skin graft will be your child’s only option,” warns the mum. 

Avoid outdoor taps or faucets

In the event of a scalding, try not to use outdoor taps because the water might be too cold. This could send your child into shock. Test the water first!

Keep the burns covered

Use something clean, like cling film or a plastic bag, to cover the burn. Make sure it’s not fluffy, so as to avoid thread or loose cloth from sticking to the burn. But don’t apply it to the face, as it can cause discomfort or suffocation.

“Put clingfilm on the burns to stop the nerve endings from hurting as this stops the oxygen getting to them and continue to keep the burns cold with wet cold towels on the cling film,” writes Fogarty, adding that the rest of the body should be kept warm with blankets or cuddles.

Though you can give kid-friendly pain relievers, it’s best to call your doctor before giving your child any medication. 

On the 7th of March, Fogarty happily reported that her little boy Jake’s face and neck as well as his deeper chest wounds were finally healing. “Jake won’t be needing a skin graft there. He is so happy to be out of bandages and now has just a big plaster to put up with. He has never been so excited to have a bath tonight, his first in 11 days!”

To avoid baby burn risks, do remember the following, mums: 

baby burn risks

Always supervise your child while in the kitchen, mums! | Image source: Dreamstime

  • Yes, you’re a master multi-tasker, but don’t juggle carrying a baby and a hot drink at the same time! Just a few squirms and wiggles of your baby could cause you to spill your hot drink!
  • Keep hot drinks out of reach, even if they are in a seemingly well-sealed takeaway container. 
  • When cooking, keep handles turned towards the back of the stove. 
  • Keep objects like irons and hair straighteners away from your child’s reach, even if they’re unplugged. Remember the case of the mum whose baby was burned by her unplugged hair straightener?
  • ALWAYS check your baby’s bath temperature. It would help to run cold water first before (and even after) turning on the hot water.
  • If you’re grilling or barbecuing, make sure children stay a safe distance away from any open flames. As one tragic case has shown, even BBQ grills can spew fireballs that could kill a child.

Remember mums, your fast-developing little one has ninja-like reflexes, so be quick to prevent baby burn risks and always keep first-aid techniques for burns in mind!

 

Sources: Livestrong, National Childbirth Trust UK

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