Burns and scalds: 10 - 14 years



How big a problem is it?

Burns are a real risk in every home, especially from hot water and liquids and a leading cause of injury for younger children in particular. Over 250 children are hospitalised or die from burns each year, which is about 27 in every 100,000.

Who does it affect?

It’s only natural that as your children get older they have more freedom to do things for themselves. This includes preparing food, lighting matches and candles, and handling household chemicals. It’s not surprising therefore that burns from direct contact are common in pre-teens.

Top Tips

  • You can start to teach your kids how to be cook safely from a young age. Explain the importance of turning pan handles to the back of the stove and using oven mitts, and why they should always stay in the kitchen when cooking. Show your children how to use the microwave safely.

  • Make sure you are always present when your pre-teen is lighting a match and always ensure you have working smoke alarms. A fire extinguisher is a very useful device to have in the home.

  • Even though you may think your pre-teen is now capable of lighting a match safely, still keep matches, petrol and lighters in a safe place out of reach.

  • Set your hot water tap to between 50 and 55 degrees centigrade.

First Aid

  • If your children have a serious burn or scald that is causing a lot of pain or involves their eyes, call 111 immediately.

  • Run cool water from a tap or shower over the burn for up to 20 minutes or until an ambulance arrives. Use luke-warm water for babies as they can develop hypothermia.

  • When the burn has cooled, carefully remove clothing from the area, cutting around the fabric if it is stuck.

  • To prevent infection, loosely cover the burn (except when on the face) with a clean non-fluffy material such as a sheet (or plastic wrap), and avoid touching the burn.

  • If the burn is causing on-going pain or involves the eyes see your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 if you are unsure what to do for ongoing treatment.

Links to Safekids’ resources

Burns Injury Prevention resources

Links to other organisations’ information

Burns Support Group

NZ National

Burn Service Patient and Whānau Information

NZ Fire and Emergency Home Safety Information

Vector Safety