Sefton Council is aiming to raise awareness of the dangers of hair straighteners with their latest Public Health campaign.
‘Get it straight’ is the latest initiative of the “Make your home a Safer Place” campaign launched during Child Safety Week, which runs from June 23-29.
The campaign supported by a host of partners, focuses on hair straighteners because every year, in England and Wales, 25,000 children are admitted to A&E with burns and scalds.
A recent study also showed that the majority of contact burns were from touching hot items in the home such as hair straighteners or irons.
Many people do not realise hair straighteners reach a temperature of more than 220°C and can take up to forty minutes to cool down completely. This together with the fact children’s skin is 15 times thinner than adults’, so any contact with hair straighteners while on or cooling can inflict deep burns that could scar a child for life.
Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Older people and Health, said: “Hair straighteners are becoming an increasing problem, regionally 721 children attended A&E with burns and scalds in Merseyside and Cheshire between April 2011 to March 2013.
“This latest campaign, ‘Get it Straight’, is to highlight to everyone never to leave straighteners unattended because when they are put aside or left on the floor, that’s when children are most likely to be seriously burned if they pick them up or stand on them.
“When hair straighteners are left lying around or hanging over door handles, crawling babies, toddlers and small children can grab at them and burn their hands or wrists, step or sit on them and burn their legs or feet, pull them down on top of themselves and burn their face or copy adults and try and use them.”
Sefton Council is working in partnership with Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to provide people using hair straighteners with a thermal pouch. They are also working with Merseyside Fire and Rescue to highlight the dangers house fires started by hair straighteners.
Sheila Merrill, public health adviser at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “This campaign will highlight just how dangerous hair straightener burns can be, not just to adults, but to young children in particular, whose skin can be 15 times thinner than an adults.
“This is why it is really important that we raise awareness among parents and carers of the horrific injuries that can be sustained as a result of a hair straightener burn. It is easy to forget that hair straighteners remain hot for a long period of time, even after use. Adults are urged to turn hair straighteners off, before storing them in a heat resistant bag out of the sight and reach of inquisitive children.
“Burns can require hospital admission and surgical intervention, including plastic surgery. Together we can work to make sure that our children are kept safe from harm.”
Sefton’s Children’s Centres will receive information and pouches to give to parents and carers