500 children under 5 are taken to hospital with burns and scalds each week here in the UK*.
This is a statistic of which I and many other people I know belong to. It’s so easily done; the coffee on the sideboard, the tea on the table. The phone goes or you just pop to the loo…They couldn’t reach it a couple of weeks ago after all, but they did.
It’s a story with many different outcomes and luckily because of my knowledge ours ended happily. The first few minutes when a scalding hot drink lands on a child, the body reacts by sending signals to the nerve receptors in the skin, it will go red with blood to the surface and the pain begins, the child will scream. You need to act as fast as you can with one goal in mind. Cool it down. On that day with my child, I ran with her to the bathroom (one of the times when living in a town house where there is a bath on the same floor as the living room came in handy!) Seconds after seeing the incident in what looked like slow motion, I placed her under the shower head and ran cold water over her chest and arms (placing a towel over her back to help stave off hypothermia) She screamed and screamed and hung on for dear life, but mummy knows best and I couldn’t afford to take her out because she was screaming. Taking the heat out of the burn can often be the difference between a number of visits for skin grafts and other follow up treatment and no, sometimes the treatment won’t stop that from happening, but I can guarantee that it will make the situation better. What is the treatment I hear you ask? Well, cold water for a minimum of 10 mins works wonders. Yes, just plain tap water for 10 mins plus can really make a difference.
Off we went to the hospital with the paramedics armed with their cling film (yes, cling film, brilliant dressing for burns, after of course the application of water for a minimum of 10 mins!) But she was absolutely fine, no scaring and no pain. I was very happy with myself and as for the water…. good stuff that.
*Statistic taken from the CAPT (Child Accident Prevention Trust) September 2011