National Burns Awareness Day Oct 2023

Cost of living crisis: Burns to children from hot water bottles have increased by 45%
Brand new insight released today on National Burn Awareness Day 2023 shows an alarming increase in the number of life-altering burn and scald injuries to babies and children involving hot water bottles. New data from the International Burn Injury Database (iBID), shows that burn and scalds to children in the first six months of 2023 increased by 45% compared with the same period in 2022. Burns and scalds to adults and the elderly from hot water bottles have also increased by 19%.

Children’s Burns Trust and British Burn Association, have released this exclusive insight to raise awareness of the risks posed by hot water bottles and the devastating nature of burns and scalds, which can lead to life-altering injuries. The ongoing cost of living crisis, and the financial pressures that households have been under for some time – coupled with universal credit deductions – has led to a change in behaviour where parents are looking for ways to keep their children and families warm without increasing their energy bills, such as through the use of hot water bottles.

Ken Dunn, Consultant Burns and Plastic Surgeon (retired) and Vice Chair of The Children’s Burns Trust, whose work is focused on children and their families said:
“The significant increase we have seen of injuries from hot water bottles to children is alarming and 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.”

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