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Advice for treating burns after sharp rise in cases in children

Ian Lewins posing

Clinicians have issued advice to parents on how best to treat burns and scalds suffered by children at home after a rise in the number of cases at the Trust in recent weeks.

A total of 66 children came to A&E at Royal Derby Hospital with burns in April, which is an increase of 150% in cases in comparison to March as children remain home during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Dr Ian Lewins, Consultant Paediatrician at Royal Derby Hospital, says that this rise in cases could be down to the fact that children are spending more time at home.

He said: “At the moment, we’re seeing around five to six children each day with burns and scalds. Typically, these are happening as children are grabbing hot drinks or putting their hands on stoves or ovens that have recently been used.”

Dr Lewins urged parents to remain extra vigilant to ensure their children are safe around hot appliances and surfaces, but offered advice as to what they should do should a child suffer an injury.

He explained: “There are some very simple steps to take if your child does burn themselves that will really help. The first thing to do is to put the burned area under cold, running water for at least 20 minutes, rather than still water in a sink or a bath. Research suggests that 20 minutes is the ideal time, and once you’ve done this, we’d advise putting the affected area in cling film or clean food bag and then come in to see us.”

Some cases have seen parents apply butter, toothpaste or turmeric to the wound, but Dr Lewins has strongly urged parents to avoid putting anything onto the burn:

“Please don’t put anything into the burn. If things like this are put into the burn, we then have to clean this out when the children get to the hospital, and as you can imagine, this can be very uncomfortable.”