Listen: Sarah Hunstead from CPR Kids shares tips for winter safety around the home
In winter it’s easy to worry about kids getting cold, but our greatest concern should be keeping kids safe.
Colder months mean heaters are turned up, we’re drinking more hot beverages, and we’re leaning on things like hot water bottles to keep warm at night, and hairdryers to dry our hair. In all of this, it’s easy to forget the the skin of little ones is far more sensitive than that of adults, and burns can easily happen around the home.
CPR Kids founding director Sarah Hunstead joined Hope Breakfast to explain some of the biggest dangers around the home.
“When it comes to burns in kids, scalds are the most common,” Sarah explained.
“We think of those hot liquids such as coffee, tea, and bowls of hot soups and noodles. All that warming stuff that we have can be a real risk to kids. But of course, thinking about the rooms in your house as well, your lounge room might have a heater in it, you might be using electric blankets which might be a risk in the bedrooms. And even running a nice hot bath in the bathroom can be a burns risk to children.”
Sarah suggests that hot water bottles are a danger, as they degrade over time. Heat packs can also be a cause of burns as they often heat unevenly in the microwave, and under blankets can actually ignite and cause a fire, according to the Fire and Rescue NSW website.
Electric blankets should be checked every year, and never left on overnight.
So how do you keep little ones warm overnight without the help of all of these more traditional methods? Sarah says to take a look at the Red Nose website, which offers great tips on how to keep babies warm with the use of onesies and sleeping bags.
And should you find yourself in the unfortunate event that a child has been burned, Sarah give this important advice: “Number one thing – don’t panic”.
“We need to stay nice and calm, and be in control of the situation.”
Sarah said this number one rule is paramount because it reassures children while trying to attend to the physical needs of the situation.
“We need to remove the heat source – any clothing that has the hot cup of tea spilled on them… the nappy, because it may have soaked through. The only time we won’t remove the clothing, is if it’s stuck to the skin,” she said.
The next step according to Sarah is to cool the burn, not the child.
“We want 20 minutes of cool, running tap water,” she said.
Hear further steps and advice in the whole conversation with CPR Kids paediatric nurse Sarah Hunstead in the player above.