Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Baby burnt one day after first birthday – raising awareness for childhood burns

A BABY who suffered severe burns from a mug of hot drink, just one day after her first birthday, has now fully recovered thanks to the dedicated care by the staff from St Andrew’s Burns Service at Broomfield Hospital.

Alayla’s reach for a coffee resulted in a terrible burn on her face and head which saw painful seven percent mixed-depth scald burns.

Following referral to Broomfield Hospital, the Burns Services team, over the next seven days, ran a range of tests, gave timely medication, and ensured careful bandage changes, while also providing essential pastoral support to her family during this challenging time.

That was in August last year and Alayla, now aged 18 months, has made a full recovery from her injuries. Since then, her mum, Simona took a number of measures to childproof her house and started an awareness campaign on social media to help hundreds of other parents to keep their children safe from burns.

Mum Simona Belcheva, 23, an operations manager from Luton, had nothing but good things to say about the care and said: “Although it felt like it got worse before it got better, I couldn’t have wished for a better care for my child for her recovery journey. Every single member of staff was so lovely, passionate and caring in everything they did.”

This is a reflection of the excellence of the renowned St Andrew’s Burns Service and the compassionate commitment of the staff there, which draws patients not only from across mid and south Essex, as well as from many other parts of the country.

Sue Boasman, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner at the St Andrew’s Burns Service, was among those who cared for Alayla.

She shared some top tips for parents for treating burns and keeping their children safe.

Cool cover and call

If your child suffers a burn, immediately place the affected area under cool running water for at least 20 minutes. Then cover the area with cling film, if possible, and seek assistance if necessary. Avoid using ice or very cold water, as it can make the burn deeper and make the patient vary cold.

Clothing

Many parents wonder whether to remove their child’s clothing after a burn. It’s important to remove the clothing as it holds the heat. Also remember to check areas such as the nappy area and socks which can also absorb hot fluids.

For minor burns

If the injured area is very small and there’s no skin loss, or damage, over the counter burn relief creams or aloe vera gel can be applied to act as a cooling agent.

Types of home remedies to avoid

Some parents apply toothpaste, egg white or other home remedies because they think it cools down the burnt area. But this can be quite damaging to the burnt skin.

Assess the size of the burn and action

It is important to assess the size of the burn. A very quick way to measure a burn is to use the child’s hand. This is equivalent to about 1% of the total body surface area. Even a small burn in a child can be serious – so any child with blistering or skin loss should seek medical help.

Childproofing the house

Keeping hot drinks and pans out of children’s reach is very important. Try to keep children out of the kitchen while cooking. Sue also recommends keeping hair straighteners, hair dryers, and irons way up out of the reach of children, because they stay hot for much longer and might cause burn.

Sue said: “Burns can happen to anyone and the correct first aid can make the difference between a minor burn and a serious injury. We have specialist treatment available at the St Andrew’s Burns Service, where people with a significant burn injury can get specialist intensive care as well as general ward level care and rehabilitation.”

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