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Burn Prevention and First Aid in Children

Burn Prevention and First Aid in Children - What it is


[This video can also be viewed in the following languages: Chinese (中文) | Tamil (தமிழ்) | Bahasa Indonesia | Burmese]

Nothing can replace close adult caregiver supervision in childhood injury prevention. Children, especially toddlers, are not able to identify the potential injury hazards in their environment and they need your care and protection.

Young children in walkers should be supervised at all times. When a toddler is in a walker, they can reach unexpected heights with increased speed.

Young children are often at eye-level with items under kitchen and bathroom sinks. Ingestion of household products and liquids can have adverse health effects on children. Sometimes, skin contact with these agents for prolonged periods can also cause chemical burns.

Common injuries such as burns are preventable. We all have a role to play in keeping our children safe and it is important to delegate duties and have teamwork amongst caregivers to ensure a safe home environment for our children to explore, learn and have fun while at the same time, protecting them from harm.

Burn Prevention Tips for Caregivers at Home:


  • When using hot kettles or pots, turn the handles inwards so that they are less visible and accessible to young toddlers; use the back burner of the stove.
  • Place stove guards to prevent children from touching the hot cooker hob / stove.
  • Invest in a thermos flask with a child-safe lock.
  • Keep children out of the kitchen with a safety gate or place children in a play pen when preparing meals. Alternatively, get another adult to babysit if the caregiver needs to prepare meals or attend to personal hygiene.

Hot liquids and beverages

  • Anticipate toddlers’ behaviours. Do not make large volumes of hot liquid accessible to toddlers at home.
  • In the presence of a toddler, place hot beverages out of reach. Whenever possible, reduce the temperature of the hot beverage with a few cubes of ice.
  • Avoid using tablecloths with toddlers around as they may pull on the tablecloth, causing hot food to be spilled onto themselves.

Chemical burns

  • Store household products and cleaning solutions out of sight and reach in a cabinet with a child-proof lock, to ensure toddlers have no access to these colourful bottles of cleaning agents.

Use of electrical appliances

  • Irons can remain very hot for 10 minutes after being switched off. It is good practice to cool the iron by pressing it on a wet towel, before winding up the electrical cord and stowing the iron away after use.
  • Any electrical appliance with a long electrical cord should have the cord wound up neatly and stored out of reach, instead of having the cord dangle over a tabletop.
  • Discard faulty electrical appliances at the home. Keep them out of reach of toddlers.
  • Safeguard electrical sockets with socket covers when not in use.

First Aid for Burns


  • Remove burning clothing or clothes that have been soaked by scalding / corrosive liquid.
  • Hold the burned area under running water for 20 minutes. This helps to cool the burn down.
  • Appearance of blisters is indicative of burn depth.
  • After cooling the burn with running water, cover it with a clean towel.
  • When in doubt, seek medical help at the nearest clinic or hospital.


  • Do not prick blisters on your own if you are not medically trained.
  • Do not apply ice on the wound.
  • Do not apply substances such as toothpaste, oil, soy sauce etc on the wound.

Burn Prevention and First Aid in Children - Symptoms

Burn Prevention and First Aid in Children - How to prevent?

Burn Prevention and First Aid in Children - Causes and Risk Factors

Burn Prevention and First Aid in Children - Diagnosis

Burn Prevention and First Aid in Children - Treatments

Burn Prevention and First Aid in Children - Preparing for surgery

Burn Prevention and First Aid in Children - Post-surgery care

Burn Prevention and First Aid in Children - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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