Campaign highlights burns risk to children

SHSCT Community Health Improvement Officer, Lisa McAliskey; ED Consultant, Eleanor McCormick; Lord Mayor Cllr. Mealla Campbell; Paediatric Consultant Jonathan Henderson; Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Environmental Health Head of Department Gillian Topping; PHA Lead of Accident Prevention, Lucille Lennon;and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Environmental Health Business Support, Eileen Maguire.  Picture: Edward Byrne Photography
SHSCT Community Health Improvement Officer, Lisa McAliskey; ED Consultant, Eleanor McCormick; Lord Mayor Cllr. Mealla Campbell; Paediatric Consultant Jonathan Henderson; Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Environmental Health Head of Department Gillian Topping; PHA Lead of Accident Prevention, Lucille Lennon;and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Environmental Health Business Support, Eileen Maguire. Picture: Edward Byrne Photography

A new campaign has been launched to to highlight the dangers of hot drinks and food around babies and young children.

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has teamed up with the Home Safety Scheme within Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to launch the awareness campaign.

The council will be distributing specially designed posters and information cards to cafes and restaurants throughout the borough to promote the messages around prevention of scalds’

Dr Jonathan Henderson, Paediatric Consultant for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, said: “Hot appliances, liquids and bath water are responsible for more than half of all burns and scalds, with young children being particularly vulnerable to accidents.

“A child’s skin is much thinner than an adult’s and so will burn or scald much more easily, even 15 minutes after a hot drink has been made.”

Dr Eleanor McCormick, Emergency Department Consultant at Craigavon Hospital, said: “The injury caused by a burn or scald is incredibly painful and treatment and rehabilitation can take a long time.

“Skin grafts are very painful and distressing, and the fallout of a serious burn or scald – the trauma, time taken off work for parents, the guilt – can affect the whole family. And of course, children can be physically scarred for life. Being more alert to the hazards can prevent many of these injuries.”

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Councillor Mealla Campbell, said: “There are great risks to handling hot drinks around babies and young children, especially in busy coffee shops and restaurants.

“I would like to thank all the local food premises we will be in contact with shortly, seeking their support with this campaign and helping to promote the important message.

“I ask parents and anyone looking after small children to be mindful of these tips both when eating out but also around the home.”

For further information and advice regarding child safety (applicable to children under 5) and accident prevention in your home, please contact the Home Safety Scheme on 0300 0300 900, ext 3345.