Mum whose toddler was scalded backs campaign to teach parents about burn injuries

A MUM whose toddler was badly scalded is backing a campaign teaching parents how to cope when their child is injured.

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  • Richie Skilling, 8, was scalded as a 3 year old, inset. He and his mum, Kirsty, are backing the new STOP first aid cards       Picture: Phil Rider
    Richie Skilling, 8, was scalded as a 3 year old, inset. He and his mum, Kirsty, are backing the new STOP first aid cards Picture: Phil Rider
  • Richie Skilling, 8, was scalded as a 3 year old, inset. He and his mum, Kirsty, are backing the new STOP first aid cards Picture: Phil Rider

Kirsty Skilling's three-year-old Richie faced nearly two years of treatment when he was burned by a cup of tea.

Now she is supporting a new public health campaign launched by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), which will see parents given advice on first aid.

Dr Gregor Walker, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at Yorkhill, said: "We want to spread the message that if a child suffers a burn or scald, effective first aid is the best way to limit the extent and depth of the injury.

"Less than one third of children received effective first aid before arriving in the Emergency Department."

Each year the A&E department at Yorkhill treats approximately 450 children for burn or scald injuries.

Around one third of these children are admitted for further medical care due to more extensive or deeper injuries.

The STOP campaign will raise awareness amongst parents of four simple actions that should be taken if a child suffers a burn or scald.

These are: Strip hot clothing and jewellery; Turn on the cold tap and run the burn under cool water for 10 to 20 minutes; Organise medical assistance; and Protect the burn with cling film or clean cloth.

Health visiting teams across Greater Glasgow and Clyde will be giving all parents or carers of under-fours a special fridge magnet displaying the four STOP steps.

This will be backed up with extensive poster distribution in venues such as libraries, pharmacies, pre-five centres, leisure centres and schools.

In 2009, Richie, who is now eight, pulled a table cloth from a worktop, causing a newly-made cup of tea to spill over his head and shoulders.

After initial treatment in Crosshouse Hospital he was referred to Yorkhill Sick Children's Hospital.

Kirsty, from Ayr, said: "It was a terrible experience, Richie had to wear a pressure garment for 23 hours a day for 22 months after the accident. We also had to make sure we massaged cream into his wound four times every day.

"Thankfully this seems to have helped and, although he is left with a slight scar, you wouldn't really notice it. We still go for yearly checkups, just to make sure the skin graft is still okay.

"I would add that while accidents do happen, I absolutely back this awareness raising campaign. People just don't know about the correct first aid advice and I think these handy fridge magnets may help parents if the worst does happen."

Health

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