Parents have been urged against giving hot water bottles to children after an ‘alarming’ spike in the number suffering serious burns.
Hot water bottles caused 99 major burn injuries in England and Wales in the first six months of 2023, up 46 per cent from 68 over the same period in 2022.
The data does not include minor burns and scalds treated in A&E departments, meaning the figures reflect the most serous incidents.
Experts blamed the cost of living crisis for fuelling the rise in injuries, suggesting that Brits are using hot water bottles as an alternative to central heating.
One father urged parents that burn injuries are ‘for life’ after his 12-year-old son was left with life-threatening complications when a hot water bottle burst in his lap.
Burns among adults and the elderly from hot water bottles rose by about a fifth, according to the data from the International Burn Injury Database (iBID).
Hot water bottles caused 99 major burn injuries in England and Wales in the first six months of 2023, up 46 per cent from 68 over the same period in 2022
Ken Dunn, retired consultant and plastic surgeon, and vice chairman of the Children’s Burns Trust, which released the figures with the British Burn Association, said the spike in burns from hot water bottles among children is ‘alarming’.
He said: ‘As the colder months of the year approach – coupled with the ongoing cost of living – we’re urging families to avoid using hot water bottles for children.
‘If you do use them at all in the home, you should remember two key pieces of information about how to use them safely – never fill them with boiling water and always check the rubber flower symbol found on the neck which shows which month and year the hot water bottle was made.
‘Any bottle older than two years old should be replaced.
‘By raising awareness of the risk posed by hot water bottles and educating people on the safest way to use them – as well as the correct first aid should an injury occur – we can help to reduce the number and resultant scarring of these devastating injuries.’
One parent, Pete, told how his son Freddie, now age 12, sustained burns to his thighs, abdomen and hands when a hot water bottle split open in his lap.
‘The impact of a burn injury cannot be underestimated and I want parents to know the damage that can be caused by hot water – a burn injury is for life’, he said.
In December 2021, Freddie – then aged 10 – was in the back of the car going to watch his sister play football.
It was a cold morning and he had a hot water bottle to help keep him warm, filled partially with cold water.
Minutes later the bottle split. His parents rushed him home and put him in a cool bath because he was unable to tolerate the pain of the shower over his burns.
Freddie was taken to the major trauma centre in Southampton and once stabilised was transferred to Salisbury specialist burns service.
Two weeks after the injury, Freddie became unwell with a high temperature and his parents were told that his burn injury was life-threatening and he needed skin grafts.
His father said: ‘It was so difficult seeing Freddie go through the treatment that was needed; surgery, dressing changes, a urinary catheter and a feeding tube in his nose to increase his calorie intake.
‘I want to emphasise the dangers of using a hot water bottles and raise awareness of how serious a burn injury from a hot water bottle can be.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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