Hot drinks are a leading cause of burns

  • Always keep hot drinks out of reach of children. 
  • Put your baby down before picking up a hot drink. 
  • Don’t pass a hot drink over a child.  
  • Lidded cups aren’t necessarily safer. 

Bath water can burn

  • Run cold water into the bath first, then add hot to bring it to the right temperature. 
  • Remember the hot tap will remain hot after turned off.  
  • Test the water temperature with your elbow. 
  • The water in hot water taps should reach a maximum temperature of around 50 degrees. If you think your water is too hot you can speak to an electrician or plumber. If your house is rented talk to your landlord about having someone come to adjust the temperature. 

Cooking areas are dangerous

Young children don’t have a reflex to pull away from something that is burning them. That’s something they learn.  

  • Put electric jugs to the back of the bench. 
  • Use back elements on the stove. 
  • Keep children out of the kitchen when cooking. 
  • Make sure electrical cords from appliances like toasters, jugs, or sandwich makers are out of reach of your child. 

Button batteries can burn

If a child swallows or puts a button battery in their nose or ears, it can get stuck. Saliva starts an electrical current, and thiscan cause severe burns and other damage within two hours. 

If you think your child has swallowed a button battery, you need to go to the hospital emergency department immediately. 

If it won't delay getting to the hospital, children over 1 year who may have swallowed a button battery within the last 12 hours may be given 10ml (approximately 2 teaspoons) of honey every 10 minutes (up to 6 doses). Getting to the hospital is still the priority.

To prevent any accidents with button batteries: 

  • keep any objects with button batteries out of reach of children, and make sure they’re supervised when using them
  • store batteries out of sight and reach of children
  • share this information with caregivers, family, whānau and friends. 

Select the right children’s sleepwear

  • Children’s nightwear must meet mandated product safety requirements. 
  • Check the fire hazard labelling, and choose clothing with the white label.  

Fireplace and heater safety

  • Teach children to stay a metre from the heater.  
  • Fit fire guards – attach them to the wall around heaters and fires. 
  • Take care with children’s cots – make sure your child can’t reach the heater from their cot 
  • Choose not to use baby walkers. 

Hair straighteners burn

  • Hair straighteners can get as hot as an iron, and will stay hot for at least 15 minutes after they’re switched off.  
  • Keep them out of reach of children - put them on a high shelf or in a heat-proof pouch to cool.  
  • Make sure the hair straightener cord is out of reach. 

Check your home for fire hazards

  • Keep matches, lighters and candles out of reach of children 
  • Remove lint from the dryer after each use.  
  • Make sure there’s proper ventilation and airspace around the dryer.  
  • If for any reason the dryer isn’t working properly – don’t use it. 
  • Make sure there’s only one plug per socket,  and check how many amps your multi boards can manage.  
  • Make sure your home has working smoke alarms. The New Zealand Fire Service recommends installing a smoke alarm in every bedroom, hallway and living area. 
  • Have an escape plan and practice it with the whole family.
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Fire and Emergency New Zealand is New Zealand's unified urban and rural firefighting organisation.