Every year there are thousands of house fires in Victoria – the majority of these start in the kitchen.
Smoke alarms are compulsory in all Victorian homes. It is the legal responsibility of all owners and landlords to install working smoke alarms. Remember, smoke alarms need to be regularly tested and maintained – only a working smoke alarm can save lives.
Tea and coffee, hot food, hot tap water, vehicle exhausts, treadmills and campfires – what do all of these have in common? They are all major causes of child burn and scald injuries.
Every year in Victoria, over a thousand children are treated in hospital for burn or scald injuries, with children aged 0-4 years at greatest risk.
The home is the most common location where burns and scalds happen, with half of these injuries occurring in the kitchen.
A child’s skin is thinner and more sensitive than an adult’s and will therefore result in a more severe burn. Injuries from burns or scalds can cause a great deal of pain for a significant period of time and often result in scarring; in some cases, skin grafts are required. This can be traumatising for not only the child but for the entire family.
First Aid for Burns and Scalds
If a burn or scald does occur, the correct first aid treatment is to place the burn under cool running water for at least 20 minutes. Forget about any of the weird and wacky treatments that may have been suggested in the past (things like using butter, oil, ice, toothpaste or even fish sauce to treat the burn) – these can make the burn worse!
For more first aid advice, please access the resources in the section below.
Preventing Burns & Scalds in Children
Treating a Burn or Scald