Would You Know What To Do If Your Child Was Burned By A Hot Drink?

"I'm going to share with you something that will save your child's life."
© Fanny ROSTAN BETEMPS via Getty Images

A mum and former nurse has shared the burns and scalds advice that she reckons plenty of parents don’t know, but definitely should.

Beki (@beki.guinta) recalled the mortifying moment her 18-month-old son pulled her hot tea – consisting of pure boiling water and no milk – down on top of him.

“I was standing right next to him, I did not think this would happen, I’m the most safe parent alive,” she said in a TikTok video which has been viewed more than 5.3 million times.

Beki explained how she used to be a registered nurse and worked in a children’s intensive care unit and therefore has “seen it all” and is “so safe” with her child. But noted these accidents still happen.

She then proceeded to tell other parents “exactly” what to do in the event that their child gets burnt.

“The lack of knowledge people have around what to do if a child gets burnt is astonishing,” she said.

So what’s the advice?

“The first thing you need to do is call an ambulance and then you need to take all your child’s clothing off, get them completely nude, and get them in a shower or under continuous cold running water for a minimum – a minimum – of 20 minutes,” she said.

“Not only does this aid in stopping the burn, this helps aid with the pain as well.”

The NHS shares similar advice for treating burns or scalds. Firstly, it advises to remove any clothing or jewellery from near the burnt area of skin, including babies’ nappies, unless – and this is important – the item of clothing is stuck to the burnt skin.

Then it says to “cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes as soon as possible after the injury”.

It warns parents to “never use ice, iced water, or any creams or greasy substances like butter”.

You’ll need to keep your child warm to help prevent hypothermia – “use a blanket or layers of clothing, but avoid putting them on the injured area,” reads the advice.

Beki said she used her body heat to keep her son warm while he was in the shower.

Next, cover the burn with cling film (laying the film flat over the burn rather than wrapping it around a limb) and treat any pain with paracetamol or ibuprofen, advises the NHS. It might also help to raise the affected area to reduce swelling.

Recalling the horrifying moment her son was burned, Beki continued: “My little boy was beside himself. I had to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star while I was sobbing, holding him in the shower just running icy cold water over his burn.

“His whole face, his neck, his torso, his stomach – everything was bright red. I’m talking like, a red that isn’t... you don’t normally see it. It was terrifying.

“I just thought instantly: he was going to be in the burns unit, he was going to be having skin grafts, he was going to have surgery and that would’ve 100% happened had I not done what I did that day.”

She said her son is now fine and “doesn’t even have a mark on him” – and she credits running cool water on him for 20 minutes as the reason why.

According to the NHS, you’ll need to go to A&E if your child is under 10, has a medical condition or weakened immune system and has a scald or burn.

You should also head to hospital if they have:

  • large burns bigger than the size of their hand,
  • deep burns of any size that cause white or charred skin,
  • burns on the face, neck, hands, feet, any joints, or genitals,
  • chemical and electrical burns,
  • any other injuries that need treating,
  • any signs of shock – symptoms include cold, clammy skin; sweating; rapid, shallow breathing; and weakness or dizziness.