Dad's quick thinking tip saves son from severe burns

Caroline Allen
Contributor
Almost half of children admitted to NHS burns services in the last five years were there because of food or liquid spillages. [Photo: Getty]

In 2018 alone, 6,645 children were admitted to the NHS burns services in England and Wales. 3,100 of these cases were because of hot food or liquid spillages.

Many of these cases are avoidable with the right kind of immediate aftercare, as father, Scott Gray, found out.

The father of two had left his cup of tea on the side whilst playing with his sons, Archie, 4 and Freddie, 2.

Within seconds, Archie had knocked the tea off the side and onto his lap. It was because of his father’s quick actions that Archie was able to make a full recovery.

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He plunged Archie’s legs into cold water in the bath and kept him there until the ambulance arrived.

“I've done first aid training, but nothing specifically related to burns, I just used my head and thought that if cold water works for a burnt finger or hand, then it must work for legs also - at the time I didn't know for sure I was taking the right action.” Scott told the BBC.

By removing his son’s clothes and acting quickly, Archie was able to make a full recovery at the specialist burns unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

However, thousands of children are left with permanent scarring every year as a result of accidents in the home. Luckily, there are a number of ways to prevent severe injuries if your child has been burnt.

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According to the British Burn Association it’s important to treat the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes.

You should also remove any clothing or jewellery immediately, unless it is stuck or melted into the wound. Dial 999 or 111 (non-emergency) and cover the wound in cling-film or anything that’s not fluffy (like cotton wool).

Remember to keep the patient warm, too.

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Equally, when you’ve got young children in the house, there are ways to avoid accidental injuries by exercising caution. The British Burn Association says:

DO

  • Keep hot drinks out of reach from children

  • Run cold water in the bath or sink first to check the temperature

  • Put saucepans at the back of the stove

  • Test the water before putting your baby in the bath or sink

DON’T

  • Drink hot drinks while feeding a baby

  • Warm bottles in the microwave

  • Leave children alone in the kitchen

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