Friday, 18 March 2011

Hot Drinks Around Babies

This blog post has pictures of myself as a toddler with a very nasty burn from a cup of tea. My mom kept these photographs as a reminder to herself of how important it is to keep hot drinks away from children. I have been meaning to write about such an issue for a while and asked her if I could use the pictures in my post. She thought it was a great idea and wanted other parents to know the importance of hot drinks and burns when it comes to babies and toddlers.

My burn from a cup of hot tea.
Shocking, right? That red mark on my body is from a cup of tea. My parents knew the risks and refused to drink hot drinks near me. This happened in our caravan when my dad made a drink and my mom pushed it away from the edge of the kitchen top. She still remembers the scream I made. She simply didn't think I could reach that far across the counter top. They both remember rushing me to hospital and how the doctors asked them so many questions to rule out anything such as child abuse. I can't imagine how awful they must have felt as they were asked question after question, guilt is still on my mothers mind even now.

I still have a light scar on the top of my chest, it's mostly visible on a hot day and when I turned 20 I noticed the white outline had nearly completely gone. I didn't like wearing anything that showed my skin. For one I was (and still am!) rather small in the boob area, but also the white outline left from the burn didn't look nice. Daft really as it wasn't that noticeable unless you were really staring at that area, but I'm writing how it affected me because I want others to know how it can affect their child afterwards.

When I see parents drinking cups of coffee or tea with their little one on their lap and watching them try and grab the cup and parents too busy chatting away I don't know what to do. I want to rush in and scream at them like a crazy person and take their cups away. Of course I have no say in what other people do with their children so doing this really isn't a great idea, but it's like a massive fire alarm going off in my head and all I can do is bite my lip and pray there is no accident.

Baby Al now has that Fisher Price toy that I'm standing on.
So what can you do to make sure your child doesn't suffer a severe burn? Here's a few tips for you to take on.

- Don't drink hot drinks with your baby on your lap. Put them somewhere safe such as a highchair, bouncer or pushchair. Make sure they are in properly and give them something to keep their mind at ease such as  toy, drink or a biscuit.
- Put a gate at the kitchen door. If you are like us and have an open plan kitchen you can get playpens to put them in whilst you are cooking so you can still see them but they are safe and unable to walk into the kitchen where there's loads of hazards (kettle, oven, hobs, knives, I could go on).
- If out and about and have stopped at a coffee shop or a friend's for a hot drink, ask for a highchair. If that's not possible then keep them in their pushchair.
- If you can't put your child in a pushchair or highchair do a "baby swap".  Let your friend hold your baby whilst you have some of your drink and then swap over so your friend can have some of hers. This still isn't totally safe specially if you have an older child who likes to wriggle about and not be constantly held.
- You may find the best solution for a toddler or small child is to give them one or two of their favourite toys to keep them amused. Put the TV on so they aren't constantly wondering what is inside mummy's cup. Give your little one a biscuit or two as well and praise them for being good.
- Simply don't have hot drinks at all whilst you have your baby with you. Make yourself one during nap times, when they are having breakfast in the highchair and after they have gone to bed. Or just give up tea and/or coffee all together!

Many parents don't seem to realise how bad a burn from something like a cup of tea or coffee really can be. For a baby it can be very dangerous. I hope you have learnt from my experience and my tips are of use. If you've had a nasty experience yourself or your child has with a cup of tea then please do leave a comment and help others learn the awful facts of burns on babies.

Keep an eye on Petit Mom's future competitions as we shall be hosting a competition with Lindam to win a safety gate!


twins2009 said...

my sister in law left her tea on the edge of the table about a month ago and my son 18 months at the time pulled it on him, i was freshly made and boiling, i rused him upstairs after wipping his clothes off and put him stright under a freezing shower, i can still hear the screams from him, i went stright to hospital and felt so bad as got all the questions why was the tea on the edge why was i not watching him ect and made to feel so bad even though it was not my fault and there was nothing i could do to prevent it, we had to see a plastic surgeon twice and a skin specialist, but luckly he made a full recovery because i got him in the shower quick enough, if i had not of done that he would of been scared for life, please look up on what to do in times like this just incase it happens to you, god forbid it dont, i will be passing the link on for this as its a great way of letting people know the dangers.

from mary imafunnytwit on twitter.

Laura Nelson said...

Thank you for highlighting this. I have to say the photo's are very shocking and I really hope this highlights child safety to other mums and dads out there. As you know poor Logan grabbed a scolding hot cup of coffee from our kitchen worktop just last Saturday. We were very lucky and thought quickly, we shoved him under the kitchen tap and kept his clothes on so as not to peel the skin from him as burns are sticky and the skin will stick to the clothes so always best to keep the clothes on until the burn is fully cooled. We then rushed him up to a freezing cold bath and continued to pour water over the burn until an ambulance arrived. My fiance and I were both soaking wet from all the water but we didn't care, only Logan mattered.

We are very very lucky that we acted quickly as Logan's burns are only superficial he shouldn't be left with any scaring. And by catching the burn quickly and putting him under cold water instantly only 2 blisters burst so he has healed super quick.

Thanks again.

Maria said...

Wow - makes me think twice when chatting away with Leon on my lap or cruising around tables... thanks for highlighting this and reading the comments knowing what to do if it did happen (God forbid). A relative spilt some coffee on Leon when he was 6mo or so and I wasn't even there - but a whole cup of boiling drink must have been horrendous.
(Found you through Mummy's Little Monkey's blog horn)

Becky said...

I was always cautious with my coffee (I drink it black so stays hotter for longer). What caught me out was homemade jam tarts. My then 1 year old son grabbed one that had not long been out of the oven and blistered his thumb...

So lucky it didn't leave a long term scar. It is so hard keeping our kids safe but much of it is common sense.

Popped over from bloghorn

Helen said...

It is hard, I admit. I'm trying to teach my son that the kitchen isn't a safe place and he's only allowed in if one of us is holding him.

And you are right, Becky, most of it is common sense, but something a simple as drinking tea whilst holding your baby is not always considered a hazard. I somewhat wish coffee shops would state this in some way.

geekmummy said...

Thanks to you and your Mum for sharing these pictures - this was a real wake-up call to me, and I've been extra- extra-vigilent with my coffee since seeing this!

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