Hot tea and tiny tots don't mix: a cross-sectional survey on hot beverage scalds

Burgess, J. D., Kimble, R. M., Watt, K. A. and Cameron, C. M. (2017) Hot tea and tiny tots don't mix: a cross-sectional survey on hot beverage scalds. Burns, 43 8: 1809-1816. doi:10.1016/j.burns.2017.05.008


Author Burgess, J. D.
Kimble, R. M.
Watt, K. A.
Cameron, C. M.
Title Hot tea and tiny tots don't mix: a cross-sectional survey on hot beverage scalds
Journal name Burns   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1879-1409
0305-4179
Publication date 2017-06-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.burns.2017.05.008
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 43
Issue 8
Start page 1809
End page 1816
Total pages 8
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Language eng
Subject 2746 Surgery
2711 Emergency Medicine
2706 Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
Abstract Objective Hot beverage scalds are a leading cause of burns in young children. The aim of this study was to look at the circumstances surrounding these injuries in terms of setting, mechanism, supervision and first aid to inform a prevention campaign. Methods A cross-sectional study was delivered via iPad to parents and caregivers presenting with a child aged 0–36 months with a hot beverage scald at a major paediatric burns centre. Results Of the 101 children aged 0–36 months that presented with a hot beverage scald over a 12-month period, 54 participants were included. The scald aetiology was as expected with the peak prevalence in children aged 6–24 months, pulling a cup of hot liquid down over themselves. The majority of injuries occurred in the child's home and were witnessed by the caregiver or parent. The supervising adult was often in close proximity when the scald occurred. Less than a third (28%) of participants received recommended first aid treatment at the scene, with an additional 18% receiving this treatment with three hours of the injury—usually at an emergency department. Conclusions While the aetiology of these scalds were as expected, the low use of recommended burn first aid was of concern. Although supervision was present in almost all cases, with the parent/caregiver close-by, this proximity still permitted injury. Attentiveness and continuity of supervision, which can be difficult with competing parental demands, appear to play a more important role role; as do considerations of other safety mechanisms such as hazard reduction through keeping hot drinks out of reach and engineering factors such as improved cup design. By incorporating the findings from this study and other research into a hot beverage scald prevention campaign, we hope to see a change in knowledge and behaviour in parents and caregivers of young children, and ultimately a reduction in the incidence of hot beverage scalds.
Formatted abstract
Objective: Hot beverage scalds are a leading cause of burns in young children. The aim of this study was to look at the circumstances surrounding these injuries in terms of setting, mechanism, supervision and first aid to inform a prevention campaign.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was delivered via iPad to parents and caregivers presenting with a child aged 0-36 months with a hot beverage scald at a major paediatric burns centre.

Results: Of the 101 children aged 0-36 months that presented with a hot beverage scald over a 12-month period, 54 participants were included. The scald aetiology was as expected with the peak prevalence in children aged 6-24 months, pulling a cup of hot liquid down over themselves. The majority of injuries occurred in the child's home and were witnessed by the caregiver or parent. The supervising adult was often in close proximity when the scald occurred. Less than a third (28%) of participants received recommended first aid treatment at the scene, with an additional 18% receiving this treatment with three hours of the injury-usually at an emergency department.

Conclusions: While the aetiology of these scalds were as expected, the low use of recommended burn first aid was of concern. Although supervision was present in almost all cases, with the parent/caregiver close-by, this proximity still permitted injury. Attentiveness and continuity of supervision, which can be difficult with competing parental demands, appear to play a more important role role; as do considerations of other safety mechanisms such as hazard reduction through keeping hot drinks out of reach and engineering factors such as improved cup design.By incorporating the findings from this study and other research into a hot beverage scald prevention campaign, we hope to see a change in knowledge and behaviour in parents and caregivers of young children, and ultimately a reduction in the incidence of hot beverage scalds.
Keyword Burn first aid
Hot beverage scalds
Injury prevention
Paediatrics
Supervision
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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