A charity has issued a warning about hair straighteners after figures showed a rise in the number of children being admitted to hospital with burns from the devices.
Although fewer under-fives are involved in accidents now than they were 10 years ago, the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) reports that the number getting burned with hair straighteners has risen by 50% - increasing from 233 in 1997-98 to 358 in 2006-07.
Burns from hair straighteners, which can reach temperatures of up to 220oC and remain hot for up to eight minutes after they have been switched off, can cause permanent scarring in children, whose skin is much thinner than that of adults, the CAPT said.
Moya Sutton, executive nurse at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, commented: ‘We are seeing more and more children with burns due to hair straightener injuries, particularly on hands and feet. On average, at least 40 children a year are treated at Alder Hey for these type of burns and several have had to have skin grafts to repair these injuries.
‘This is becoming a major area of concern for us, as parents just aren’t as aware of these items as posing a threat.’