Burn victims often children

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Around one quarter of all burn victims that are brought to the three Dutch burn centers is under the age of five, according to research from the Burn-wounds Foundation.  The Foundation states that many children over-estimate their children, which leads to many cases of burn wounds being inflicted through accidents with hot liquids such as coffee, tea or bath water. This happens in nine out of ten cases. Parents often thing that their children learn quickly not to come near cups of hot tea of coffee, but sometimes these children aren't even a year old, and don't have an understanding of danger yet, so are in danger of having to learn that lesson the hard way. Parents also under-estimate how serious burn wounds from hot liquids can be. Hot tea can already lead to second-degree burns. The Foundation is recalling the case of Dirk Koppelaar who had a pot of hot tea spilled over him when he was a year and a half old. Koppelaar had to get multiple operations until far beyond his 18th birthday. He was also teased for his scars.

Koppelaar is now giving talks at schools and nurseries. He wants to introduce thermoses as a standard. "An accident with hot liquids happens very fast. You blink your eyes and something's fallen over again." "I also find it difficult that I can't keep an eye on my daughter 24 hours a day", Koppelaar says. "But luckily there are measures you can take to can avoid burn wounds as much as possible. Think about putting cups of tea and coffee out of reach, shortening the kettle's cord, pushing away the handles of pans and of course, using a thermos." Every year, around 200 children between the ages of zero and four are brought to a burn center after an accident with hot drinks. Tip of the iceberg, according to Jos Vloemans of the child burn center of Beverwijk. "The two hundred registrations only have to do with those children who need complex care in a burn center due to serious second- and third-degree burns. All emergency care units see another 1400 kids every year with light burn wounds. That is 21 percent of the total people who announce themselves at the emergency unit with burn wounds." The Burn-wounds Foundation has started an awareness campaigns to decrease the number of young victims.

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