Scalds and children

Serious scalds or burns can be caused by children turning on the hot-water tap or by being put into a scalding hot bath.

Other scalds are caused by hot liquids from drinks, kettles, jugs, saucepans, and microwaved food such as two-minute noodles.

How to prevent scalds at home

Make sure the thermostat control on your hot-water system is set below 50 degrees Celsius.

Run cold water into the bath first and always test it before bathing your child.

Keep electrical cords, jugs and irons out of reach of children.

Never have hot drinks such as tea or coffee when you are holding your child.

Be careful with cooking when children are around.

Keep hot things back from the edge of tables. Turn the saucepan handles away from the edge of the stove. Use a stove guard.

Have a fire extinguisher or fire blanket in the kitchen that is easy to get to.

Use placemats instead of table cloths.

Use short or curly electrical cords that don't hang over the sides of benches.

If a child has a scald, cool the burnt area under running cold water for at least 20 minutes. Never use ice to cool the skin. If the scald is bigger than a 20-cent piece, see a doctor or take your child to the hospital. 

Keep electrical cords, jugs and irons out of the reach of children.

More information

For more ideas, activities and tips go to the 7 Steps to Safety page on the Department of Children and Families website.

Last updated: 12 January 2016

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