We all hear about the great danger to our kids when it comes to burns – a screaming hot kettle or saucepan full of boiling liquid. But what is not so well known is that your child is more likely to receive a burn from a hair straightener or a treadmill!

At my place, I had turned on my hair straightener and turned my attention away unaware that my 4 year old son had wandered into the room where I had the straightener on, and to this day I can still hear the shrieking cry that accompanied my son yelling, “it attacked me Mummy”.

In horror, I ran into the room, looked at his hand where instantly a blister had covered his whole thumb.  I rushed to the sink, turned on the tap, somehow grabbed a chair and together we stood crying for the next 20 minutes.

Perhaps not quite the end of the world, but I knew how much that would hurt and kicked myself for not thinking about how hot and dangerous a hair straightener can actually be.

Burns, no matter what size are one of the most painful and potentially damaging injuries you can ever encounter. Not to mention it can be incredibly frightening for you and your child.

If your child has a burn injury;

  • INSTANTLY cool the burn with gently flowing WATER! WATER! WATER! for up to 20 minutes
  • If in doubt call an AMBULANCE ‘000’ – especially if the burns affects airways, genitals, face, hands or feet or is bigger than a 20c piece
  • For larger burns place you and your child in a gentle flowing cool shower
  • Remove clothing (including nappy) and jewelry ( do this once immersed in water) – but NEVER remove items if stuck to the skin, and
  • NEVER EVER put lotions, creams, powders, butter, ice, garlic, tomatoes, toothpaste, hummus or ice cream on any burns!!! (You would be surprised what I have been told)

Prevention is obviously key, but in the event of such emergency ‘water’ is your best friend and never hesitate to contact medical aid.

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  • Run the injury under tepid water, straight away. Then assess as to what course of treatment is needed next


  • A little girl I know got boiling hot water splashed on her when she pulled the kettle down on herself. The were in a rented house and hadn’t realised she could reach up that high or far back. She didn’t normally go in the cooking area. They lived in a country area down south
    Her Mum grabbed her and went under a cold shower, clothes, shoes and all while her husband rang the hospital across the road. She got her clothes that weren’t stuck to her off under the shower. They wrapped her in a clean sheet and ran across to the hospital. They put her in a special bath, got the rest of her clothes off, dressed the burns thens she was taken to the Childrens Hospital Burns Unit by Ambulance. At the hospital they thought it might be a case of Child Abuse so they were questioned over and over again. She was in hospital for a fortnight. When they took her home she had to be isolated in one room and no visitors including siblings due to low immunity and risk of infection. The two worst parts had to have special cream put on them 3 times a day for a few months. Fortunately her face wasn’t burnt at all. She has only one mark, and that is where the neck of her jumper was tight.


  • Yep knew all that. Haven’t had to deal with major burn injuries tho, touch wood


  • always got to be extra careful with kids around.


  • Very importance advice – thank you.


  • yeah i burnt myself really badly on my hand and that hurt like hell so imagine children. i also had a friend who’s child went to grab their fresh made coffee off a bench and the kid got so badly burnt that child services were called in and the couple ended up splitting over the stress of it. So be sooo careful because there could be more consequences to it


  • It’s so important to know what to do and act quickly


  • Burns are horrible for kids, and they just keep on hurting, unlike some ohter injuries that get better after the initial bang and shock wear off. Thanks for this article – I have done a first aid for kids course but I seem to forget things so easily, it’s good to keep refreshing so that when accidents happen, we don’t have to scramble around trying to remember what to do!


  • great reading thank you for posting I would also highly recommend a first aid course for anyone involved with children


  • Burns are so scary, before I had my children I was visiting a relative who was on holidays at the local caravan park when a child in the opposite van pulled boiling oil off the stove. To say the screaming curdled my blood can’t begin to describe how horrible it was, so it would have been 100 times worse for the child. We quickly rang the ambulance but it seemed to take forever to come. I don’t know the outcome but I can only imagine the horror of it.


  • The worst burn i every saw was nearly cooked rice in a big pot get knocked onto a 6yr old who was flying his paperplanes around the house. it went wll over him nd a shower was the wqy to go. scarred too. rice had become sticky and there was soooo much.


  • So easy to be distracted momentarily and children seem to have a radar that senses this. Ohh! We’ve all had those moments when we could kick ourselves. Even memory of my darling toddler and the too hot party pie episode still makes me want to weep. Rush for an block to suck to cool down that hurty lip while hearing the wailing was awful. Multiply that feeling for really bad burns and I can see the need for almost supernatural vigilance and a working knowledge of first aid for burns


  • Thanks for the great information a very informative article


  • A good reminder for everyone


  • My kids have been taught to go straight to the tap if they get burnt.

    • Same in this household, to the tap under cool running water.


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