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Home accident prevention video ‘Scarred for Life’ launched

26 October 2017

The dangers associated with hot appliances, liquids and bath water are being highlighted in a video being launched today [Thursday 26 October] by the Public Health Agency (PHA), in association with local councils in Northern Ireland.

The video is the latest in a series of awareness-raising activities to reduce the prevalence of accidents that occur in or around the home, and shows how quickly and easily burns and scalds can occur.

Dr Carolyn Harper, Director of Public Health at the PHA: “Home accidents can easily be prevented by being aware of the dangers and hazards that are present in the home environment and taking steps to minimise the risks.

“Hot appliances, liquids and bath water are responsible for more than half of all burns and scalds, with young children being particularly vulnerable. The video aims to highlight how easy it is for a child to burn themselves or be scalded, and encourages parents and guardians to be aware of the risks and how injuries can be reduced.”

Mary Black, Assistant Director of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement with the PHA, said: “It is impossible to watch over our children 24 hours a day, so it is essential that we take time to make the home environment as safe as possible.

“The video shows a typical busy home and highlights that it can take just seconds for an accident to happen.”

It also informs people that:

  • Hot drinks can still scald 15 minutes after they’ve been made and can result in years of skin graft treatment. Ensure hot drinks are out of reach of babies and children.
  • Hot water scalds in seconds. Run the cold water first and always check the temperature of bath water.
  • Hair straighteners can get very hot, very quickly and cause serious burns that scar for life, keep out of the reach of children and put them away safely after use.

“It is important that parents, relatives and carers are aware of these hazards and proactively take steps to make sure children are kept safe.

“Don’t leave it until it is too late – taking simple steps to make our homes safer for a child is the best way to reduce the risk of accidents,” concluded Mary.

Marcus Potts, Head of Environmental Health at Ards and North Down Council and Chair of Environmental Health NI said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Public Health Agency to raise awareness of the many ways accidents within the home can occur. Young children can very quickly and easily be burnt or scalded in the home, a particularly distressing type of accident with consequences that could last for life. Every effort is needed to ensure that hot liquids and appliances are kept out of the reach of children and that the appropriate safety checks are done at bath time to prevent accidents occurring. We hope that this video will be as successful in raising awareness of home accident prevention as our previous blind cord safety video.”

Dr Julie-Ann Maney, consultant in paediatric emergency medicine in The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children said: “We look after children every day who have sustained accidental burns and scalds.  Burns and scalds can be life threatening and can have long term health implications.  Prevention and awareness of first aid measures are really important in the management of burns.  The advice and the warnings in the scarred for life video and website are essential for all parents and carers.  Prevention is always better than a cure.”

To view the video visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/burns-safety-advice    

For further information or advice on burns and scalds you can also contact the Home Safety Officer at your local council or your health visitor.’