Parents are being warned about the dangers of using vaporisers around children.
Marlina Whop, a 7 News reporter, has warned parents that researchers say this very common home remedy for colds can do more harm than good.
Dr Sarah Lonie said a vaporiser can reach up to 100 degrees with the steam and boiling water at its hottest.
A large number of children, mainly toddlers, present to the children’s hospital with burns from a steam vaporiser with up to 80% presenting with burns to their hands. Especially boys. 50% needed surgery.
Parents need to remember…
- Put the vaporiser in a high place
- Put a barrier around it
- And also follow instructions carefully
Researchers are calling on the public watchdog to ensure parents are reminded of the dangers, especially as the cooler weather approaches.
Please remember to always use precautions with children.
Response from vaporiser distributor
FGB Natural Products are distributors of Euky Bear and Vicks Warm Steam Vaporisers, two of the top-selling vaporiser brands in Australia.
Euky Bear has always recommended placing vaporisers on the floor due to the fact it’s a stable surface, children can’t pull the vaporiser down on top of themselves, and it also prevents possible water damage to furniture. Steam also rises so it makes sense to provide as much room for it to circulate as possible, rather than hitting the ceiling and possibly causing excess condensation.
They told Mouths of Mums that conservatively, they estimate more than a million vaporisers could be operating in homes in Australia every year. According to Home Safe Kids, approximately 7,100 children are treated with burns in Australia every year.
In perspective, the research shows burns from vaporisers are approximately a 1 in 100,000 occurrences, and represent 0.005% of paediatric burns in Victoria. Hot water from kettles and cooking, along with bath water, are the most common causes of paediatric scalds in Australia.
FGB’s position is that while any heat source in the home should be treated with caution, vaporisers can be used with confidence when used with common sense as directed and with the appropriate levels of parental supervision, which is explained clearly on the packaging and in the instructions.
“Ultimately it is up to the parents to decide based on their circumstances and the age of their children, but we urge parents, as with any household device like kettles or stoves, to always supervise children around vaporisers.”
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