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Burns and Scalds

Burns hurt and can happen in a fraction of a second.

Get smart and stay one step ahead.  Find out what is most likely to cause burns in your home, based on Jersey data.

Child Information
Adult Information
The number one cause for burns in the under fives is hot drinks, often because these drinks are being left in accessible places to cool and children are then pulling the drinks over themselves.

What you need to know

Be extra careful in the kitchen – especially when cooking, using the oven or taking hot things out of the microwave.

Spilt hot drinks are the biggest reason for burns so take care where you leave your hot chocolate and remind your grown ups not to leave their tea or coffee on the table edge but at the back. Remember, hot food burns too so carry it carefully.

Take care near the iron, it takes a long time to cool down. Think of hair straighteners as being an iron for your hair!  Treat them the same, in fact they get even hotter than an iron.

Remember, make sure that your bath water’s not too hot!

Don’t forget, the sun can cause burns too.

You need to stop it burning your skin otherwise you will look like a wrinkled raisin when you’re older. Use a sun cream that is at least a factor 30, wear a hat, sun glasses, T-shirt and have lots of cool drinks. Remember to reapply cream throughout the day and try to stay out of the sun when it is at its hottest, that’s between 11am and 3pm!

Every year, Jersey's Emergency Department see children with burns and just about all of these injuries are preventable.

Children have much thinner skin than adults which means they burn more easily. So, hot water that would not effect an adult could easily scald a child.


  • Babies skin is 15 times thinner than the skin of an adult!
  • Always check the bath temperature with your elbow – it should feel neither too hot or too cold.
  • Never have your baby and a hot drink in your arms at the same time – they can move suddenly and your drink could be spilt – it can still burn up to 15 minutes after it has been made.
  • Take care when making babies feed – using a microwave increases the risk of burning babies mouth – it’s best to use a bottle warmer or stand it in hot water
  • Babies under 6 months should not be in the sun.. Their skin is so thin and is very sensitive to sun cream chemicals.


Keep hot drinks away from children

  • Children are ‘on the move’ children and they like to copy adults.
  • Keep your drink at the back of a surface, away from small hands.

Be aware of hot oven hobs, kettles & saucepans

  • Use the rings at the back of the hob first. Hands being burned on hot hobs are common.
  • Keep kettles at the back of the counter and on a short flex.
  • Remember that saucepans are still hot when empty and can still burn.

Keep the iron and hair straighteners far out of reach

  • Irons pullled onto the child by the flex causes nasty burns – in fact do you have to iron at all? If so what about when the child is asleep?
  • Keep the iron well out of reach.
  • Hair straighteners sat on or picked up causes severe burns – cool them in the pouch or far out of reach.

Hot bath water can be turned on by a child

  • Consider a thermostatic valve that regulates the water, preventing it coming out of the tap too hot.


  • Electrical chargers burn, from an Xbox to a mobile phone when put in the mouth – keep them unplugged when not in use.
  • Radiators and hot pipes – think about insulating them to keep prying fingers away
  • Motorbike exhausts – standing close to a roaring bike is exciting, but too close causes burns to the legs – keep your distance.
  • Cooking and carrying hot food – children need to be taught these skills – teach them and supervise
  • Sun burn is painful and increases the risk of skin cancer when children are older.  Remember to apply high factor childrens sun cream.  Re-apply regularly, especially after being in the water or drying with a towel.  Keep in the shade if you can between 11am and 3pm.  Protect the eyes with sunglasses, take plenty of water and wear a hat!