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Pipes, radiators and towel rails are all common causes of burns and scalds. Most standard steel panel radiators can reach surface temperatures of 75°c – hot enough to cause serious burns in seconds.

During 2023, 160 children were admitted to an NHS Burns Service experiencing burns due to a central heating radiator. This does not include those who were treated in A&E departments for this and other heating related injuries such as pipes, solid fuel and gas heaters

Data from the International Burn Injury Database (iBID)


  • Always keep children away from open heat sources such as fire places and gas stoves.⁠
  • Cover any low-level hot pipes with insulating material if you can, in case children fall against or touch them.
  • Fit fireguards to all fires and heaters.
  • Gas heaters should be serviced at least every 2 years⁠.
  • Keep all flammable materials at least one metre away from the heater⁠.
  • Be aware that children’s clothing with a ‘low fire danger’ label is still flammable.


First Aid – for a radiator burn


Cool the burn with cool running water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or firmly stuck to the wound).


Call for help for any burn larger than a 50p coin: 999, 111 or local GP for advice.


Cover with cling film or a clean, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure the patient is kept warm.

“One of our key aims is to raise awareness that the greatest risk of burns and scalds to UK children occur as a result of everyday items in the home, and how the right first aid can make all the difference should an accident occur”

Children Burns Trust Chairperson



children a day are burned by a hot drink


decline in fundraising income this year


children were burned or scalded in 2022

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