CAPT hot drink scalds campaign

We emailed you last week to ask you to support our hot drink scalds campaign. Read on to find out how you can help spread the message.

“Everyone in the burns unit was there because of an accident. None of them were born that way and they hadn’t developed a disease to make them disfigured. In a split second their whole life changed.”

Valerie Jackson, mum of 10 month-old Gabriel, who was badly scalded by a hot drink.

Today 45 babies and toddlers will be rushed to casualty with a hot drink scald. Three will be so badly hurt they will be admitted to hospital. Because a young child’s skin is so much thinner than an adult’s, hot drinks can inflict serious injuries and can scar for life. Physical scars can lead to emotional scars – for the child as they grow up and for their family too.

Hot drink scalds are also hugely costly for the NHS – a spilled cup of tea can easily cause scalds covering 10% of a young child’s body. This is regarded as a minor scald by the NHS, but typically might require one or two days hospital treatment, and cost £2,000. The cost of more serious scalds can be much greater, and continue through years of painful operations.

But hot drink scalds are one of the simplest accidents to prevent. That’s why, after attending the International Society for Burn Injuries Congress and talking to burns experts, CAPT has launched a hot drink scald prevention campaign. We’ve already contacted every children’s centre England-wide to ask them to support us. And it’s why we now need your help.

There’s so much you can do to protect children in your community from suffering the physical and emotional pain of hot drink scalds. And we’re making it as easy as possible for you, and the organisations you work with, to raise parents’ awareness of the simple steps they can take to stop their child suffering serious scalds from hot drinks.

Your four step guide to preventing hot drink scalds

Step 1 – Speak to colleagues about the issues covered in our In Focus article on hot drinks on the CAPT site. What can they do to raise awareness of hot drink scalds over the coming weeks?

Step 2 – Make the case for investing in hot drink scald prevention. Our new article on the costs of hot drink scalds gives you all the facts and figures you’ll need.

Step 3 – Go to the campaigns section of the CAPT website to find resources to run a hot drink scalds campaign. Our campaign resources include key messages for parents and running group discussions. While our DVD resource pack Too hot to handle has everything your settings need to run an interactive session that really engages parents’ interest.

Step 4 – Let local media know you are focusing on hot drink scalds by using the template press release on the CAPT site. And think about other ways you can help us get the message out to parents and practitioners, for example through your websites, intranets, e-bulletins, email signatures, events, magazines or social media campaigns.

Please help us to spread the message to parents and carers: always put your hot drinks out of babies’, toddlers’ and young children’s reach.

Updated October 2012