Parents are being urged to take care with hot drinks as part of a UK-wide campaign to tackle the most common cause of child burns.

The SafeTea campaign is based on evidence collected by researchers from Cardiff University, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England and tested in collaboration with early years staff and parents of young children.

Research shows that more than 400 children in Wales attend hospital with burns each year, with the majority happening to children under five.

Hot drinks account for 60% of hospital attendances with burns in children under three years.

"There are thousands of incidents of hot drink scalds every year in the UK, where potentially devastating injuries could be prevented with a few simple steps.

Alison Kemp, Professor of Childhealth, Cardiff University
Joe Nash pulled a kettle full of boiling water over himself when he was just 8 months old Credit: ITV Wales News

Joe Nash was scarred for life when he pulled kettle full of boiling water onto himself at eight months old.

Now aged 28 and a dad to a seven-year-old daughter, he is keen to warn others of the dangers.

"The scars themselves throughout my life have been a hindrance. Every few years I’d have to go back, have those scars opened, have another skin graft to enable me to move normally. It’s caused a lifetime of continued treatment and it was a simple accident. Parents of young children have so much to think about. I think this is a hazard that is often overlooked."

Joe Nash

Here are some tips to prevent burns in the home:

Researchers hope the awareness campaign will succeed in reducing the number of child burns seen by medical staff. To help spread the word, they have created a host of online resources and are asking parents to take the SafeTea pledge.

Experts want to also raise awareness about what to do if a child does get burnt. Credit: ITV Wales News

With the moments following a burn being the most critical time for preventing long-term damage the campaign also wants to raise awareness of what to do if a child does get burnt, with the 3 main principals as follows:

  • Cool the area under running water for 20 minutes

  • Call for medical advice, NHS Direct or 999

  • Cover the area with clingfilm.