Researchers determines that mothers of young children may be largely unaware of the biggest burn risks to their little ones and even what age group is most likely to get burned. The study examined almost 500 mothers of young kids in Queensland. The study has published in Injury Prevention.
It just one third knew the top cause of burns to young children while only one in 10 knew how long the correct treatment should be applied. “Hot beverage scalds are the leading cause of childhood burns in Australia and many other developed countries," lead author Jacqueline Burgess told Reuters Health in an email.
Participants were all adult women with at least one child between 5 and 12 months of age at the start of the study. Roughly half of the women were under age 29, and about 40% were first-time mothers. Researchers scored the participants’ responses on a 19-item questionnaire that measured overall knowledge of burns, first aid for burns and burn risk factors.
Less than half of the women knew that children ages 6 to 24 months are the group most at risk of hot drink scalds, Burgess said. Therefore, parents of this age group need to be particularly vigilant when they are preparing and consuming hot drinks that their hot drink is placed out of reach at the back of the bench, in the middle of the table, not the edge, she noted.
"It is a good idea to keep young children out of the kitchen altogether with a safety gate so children can't access all the potential hazards found in the kitchen," Burgess said. Applying 20-minutes of cool running water to a burn is the best first aid treatment, resulting in less pain, reduced burn depth, shorter hospital stays and faster healing time, she added.
"This treatment is beneficial up to three hours after the burn occurs. Cool the burn but make sure the child doesn't get too cold. This treatment is fairly readily available, is free, and is the best treatment you can apply." While 94% of mothers knew to cool a burn with water only, just 10% realized they should do it for a full 20 minutes.
The only two factors that seemed to predict whether mothers knew the correct first aid for a burn were training and smoking status mothers who were smokers tended to score poorly in this category, and mothers who had undergone first aid training in the past 12 months tended to do better than the rest.
Authors concludes that mothers who were active on the app showed a significant improvement in burn risk and first aid knowledge at the end of the intervention period. The study has suggested this method of delivering injury prevention messages is effective in changing participants' knowledge.