Child Safety Week – Burns

As part of Child Safety Week, we are sharing some first aid advice for children so you can always be prepared, just in case.

Burns and scalds are a serious problem amongst children, with the under 5’s being the most at risk. The most common types of burns are scalds caused by from pulling mugs of hot drinks over and from contact burns, and in particular from hair straighteners and irons. They can range from a superficial burn that affects the top layer of skin, to a full thickness burn that is much deeper.


If your child does sustain a burn or scald, remove them from the source of the burn and start to cool it immediately with cold running water for at least 10 minutes, or until it feels better. Be particularly cautious if you are cooling a large area, such as legs, abdomen or back, that you do not overcool them, as they could become at risk of becoming hypothermic; to overcome this wrap them in a blanket, but avoid the injured area.

Remove any clothing or jewellery next to the burnt area, but don’t pull it off if it’s stuck. Once the burn has been cooled, cover it loosely with cling film (but don’t wrap it around the limb) or a clean, non-fluffy material such as a clean plastic bag, to help prevent any infection. Make sure you don’t burst any blisters and do not use any creams or lotions as this can increase the risk of infection.

Call 999 if it is a serious burn, but always make sure you seek medical advice for a baby or child who has been burned.

Remember, always seek professional advice if you are at all worried. To find out more about first aid for children, see our online course in First Aid for Children.

 Written by Sophie McCracken 9th June 2017