Electric hobs to blame for more than 5% of serious burns in children

17 October 2017

Latest statistics show alarming numbers of children are experiencing life-changing burn injuries in the kitchen

Wednesday 18th October

This National Burn Awareness Day, Electrical Safety First with the support of the Children’s Burns Trust, is working to raise awareness of how to avoid burns and scalds in the kitchen.

Last year, more than 6,000 children were seen by specialist centres after suffering from serious burns or scalds. Over half of these children were under the age of 5 – that’s 11 toddlers every single day.

The most common place of injury for children is the kitchen. More than 5% (457) of children treated had suffered a burn caused by an electrical hob.

Children are especially vulnerable as their skin can be 15 times thinner than that of adults. A burn injury is for life and the scars can be psychological as well as physical.

The majority of injuries occur as a result of an accident that could have been prevented.

Emma Drackford, Director of Communications at Electrical Safety First, said: 

“The vast majority of burn injuries are accidents and most are entirely avoidable. In order to protect children from burns and scalds we need to recognise that everyday things such as leaving saucepans unattended or boiling a kettle can be potential dangers for children. Always keep an eye on your child when they’re in the kitchen and never leave them unattended.”

Keep your children safe

  • Keep appliance cords short and out of reach. Children can pull or trip on them, risking a serious burn from a kettle full of boiling water.
  • Electric ovens are one of the top causes of burns in children. Place child-proof covers on your oven and stove knobs, and consider getting a stove guard or safety gate.
  • Try to cook on the hobs at the back of the stove, and turn the handles of your saucepans and frying pans inward. This will reduce the risk of a child accidentally knocking them off.
  • Don’t carry your child while you’re using the oven, stove or kettle - they could get splashed with hot liquid or food, or cause a distraction.
  • Be vigilant. Keep an eye on your child when they’re in the kitchen and never leave them unattended, particularly when you’re cooking.


For more information please contact:

Sophia Alipour T: 020 3463 5130 E: sophia.alipour@electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk

Editors’ Notes

  • Electrical Safety First is a UK Charity dedicated to reducing and preventing damage, injuries and death caused by electricity. More information can be found at http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk
  • All statistics are from the International Burn Injury Database (iBID) The iBID is a collaboration between the Burn Services of England and Wales and NHS England. In 2016/17 twenty-two hospitals providing burn care contributed to the figures above. They do not include burn injuries seen in emergency departments or admitted to hospitals that are not specialised burn services.