Last week I nearly spilt hot coffee on my baby, they were ok, but it made me worry – what should I do if I scald my child?


If hot liquid is spilt on your child, immediately, but carefully remove wet clothing (leave if stuck to the burn) and put the affected area under cool running water for at least 10 minutes. Phone an ambulance, particularly if a large area is affected, or if the skin is broken or blistered. Burns to the hands, face, feet, genitals or airways are particularly serious. Keep the burnt area under cool running water until the paramedic arrives. If the burn is not caused by a hot liquid, do not remove clothes as they will probably have stuck – run immediately under cool running water for at least 20 minutes. If the burn is caused by a chemical, run under cool running water for at least 20 minutes or longer. Treating a burn promptly under cool running water for at least 10 minutes makes a huge difference to the severity of a burn and therefore the amount of pain, scaring, length of time in hospital…that your child may experience.


Never touch the burn, pop blisters, or put on any creams whatsoever. Take burns very seriously and always seek medical advice.


This information has been provided for guidance only and is not a substitute for medical advice or for attending a First Aid course. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

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