24/06/2009 19:11 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Dangers Of Hair Straighteners

Hair straighteners can cause serious injuries to children, experts are warning this week.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust says there has been a 50% rise in the number of under-fives admitted to hospital due to contact burns over the last 10 years.

Many of these are caused by modern home gadgets such as straighteners.

Doctors say hair straighteners can reach temperatures of 220C, and can burn children as badly as an iron.

They can also still burn children up to eight minutes after being unplugged, and can cause permanent scarring.

As part of Child Safety Week this week, the Trust is highlighting some of the most common dangers in the home.

Anyone who's considering how child-friendly their home is, or needs some tips on baby-proofing, should take note.

Sian Falder, consultant plastic surgeon at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, says: "We are seeing more and
more children with severe burns to their feet, mouth and hands due to hair straightener injuries.

"It is becoming a major area of concern for us, as parents just aren't as aware of these items as posing a threat."

A poll to mark the launch of Child Safety Week showed many mums are unaware of the threats from modern gadgets.

Most mums are worried about electrical sockets, which actually are not a big risk to young children due to safety legislation. Apparently little fingers can't get far enough inside.

In contrast, only one in 15 mums who took part in the poll were worried about hair straighteners.

Katrina Phillips, chief executive of the Child Accident Prevention Trust, says: "With the rapid pace of modern life and the speed at which children develop, it can be a challenge for parents to stay one step ahead in preventing serious accidents.

"It's often the small changes that make all the difference. The trick is to make them a habit – like putting your straighteners in the same place out of young children's reach – that way you'll feel less like you constantly need eyes in the back of your head."

Other potential accidents highlighted include eating detergent capsules and getting tangled in blind cords.

To find out more about child safety, including advice and information on how to make your home safe, visit or contact a local SureStart Children's Centre.

Source [The Child Accident Prevention Trust]