October feedback

04 October 2019

A new national campaign promotes hot drink safety around children, plus your chance to apply for funding to improve your practice.

‘SafeTea’ is the word

Help to reduce hot drink scalds to young children and promote first aid for burns with assistance from a new campaign.

A total of 30 babies and toddlers go to hospital with a hot drink burn in the UK every day (Davies, 2019; SafeTea, 2019), and only one in four of these children receive the correct first aid when they arrive at the emergency department (Bennett et al, 2019a). These injuries can be devastating for children and their families.

Hot drink burns almost always occur at home, and most involve infants and toddlers as they are starting to become mobile and explore the world for themselves. Pulling a hot cup of tea from a surface within reach is the most common way that children are burned. Usually this happens in a split second and takes parents completely by surprise. The Hospital paediatric burn attendances graph shows a peak at age one to two years, when 70% of burns are due to scalds from hot drinks or hot water (blue).

Feasibility work

To tackle this substantial public health challenge, the Children’s Burns Research Centre has designed, developed and tested the feasibility of a community-based intervention in collaboration with Cardiff Flying Start. A suite of resources and activities were produced and trialled by health visitors, community nursery nurses and playgroup staff in Cardiff.

Using short questionnaires before and after the intervention, the team were able to see an increase in first  aid knowledge and their knowledge of hot drink burn risks.

The intervention was welcomed by parents and community practitioners (CPs) alike (Bennett et al, 2019b). Based on the findings and feedback from parents and health professionals, new artwork and improved materials have been developed and videos for social media have now been professionally produced.

The campaign

As a result of this feasibility study, the final web and social media-based campaign – SafeTea – has been devised, with materials and activities available for CPs to use with parents. SafeTea will provide free access to a suite of novel, web-hosted videos with shortened versions for social media use, and printable materials – including posters, a flyer, reach-chart, fridge magnet and activity pack – to support CPs in communicating SafeTea messages. The British Burn Association has provided funding for some printed materials that will be available to CPs to use to promote the messages with families. The key messages of the campaign are:

  • Keep hot drinks away from young children
  • Never pass hot drinks over children
  • Never hold a baby and a hot drink at the same time
  • Know first aid for burns: 
  • COOL under running water for 20 minutes
  • CALL 999, 111 or your doctor
  • COVER loosely with clingfilm.

SafeTea will be launched on National Burns Awareness Day on 16 October 2019 and run for three months. The campaign will emphasise the likelihood and severity of hot drink burns in pre-school children, give prevention and first aid advice and invite parents and carers of young children to share their SafeTea stories and take the SafeTea pledge to raise awareness.

For more information on the campaign, visit safetea.org.uk and follow @SafeTeaCampaign on social media.  

Professor Alan Emond, professor of child health at the University of Bristol  

Dr Verity Bennett, research associate at Cardiff University  

Professor Alison Kemp, clinical professor of child health at Cardiff University. 

It’s time to apply

The CPHVA Education and Development Trust is pleased to announce that applications for a MacQueen Bursary are now open for 2019-20.

Applications are invited to fund any of the following activities:

  • Initiatives undertaken in practice to facilitate the health and wellbeing of individuals, groups or communities
  • A research project focused on the enhancement of practice in community settings
  • Engagement in professional or academic study activities to enhance the applicant’s practice
  • Travel costs associated with an overseas public health project which will enable the winner to either engage in a public health project or to explore an initiative to determine its relevance to UK practice.

A total of £25,000 is available, and a number of applications will be supported (up to a maximum of £5000 per application or £3000 for the travel award).

Project applications may involve a multiprofessional team, providing at least one individual has current membership of Unite-CPHVA. Please note that bursaries can only be awarded to the individual or group and not an employing organisation.

Applicants will need to state the total amount they are seeking, and should include a detailed costing for the project or study activity. Priority will be given to the shortlisted applications that demonstrate the greatest potential to enhance practice.

Nomination forms can be downloaded from cphvaeddevtrust.wordpress.com or you can email [email protected]  

Shortlisted applicants for bursaries of over £2000 must be available to attend for interview at Unite HQ in Holborn, London, on 20 March 2020

Closing date for the receipt of applications is 5pm on 20 January 2020


Bennett, CV, Maguire S, Nuttall D et al. (2019a) First aid for children’s burns in the US and UK: an urgent call to establish and promote international standards. Burns 45(2): 440-449.

Bennett CV, Hollén L, Quinn-Scoggins HD, Emond A, Kemp AM. (2019b) Feasibility of Safe-Tea: a parent-targeted intervention to prevent hot drink scalds in preschool children. See: https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2019/02/14/injuryprev-2018-042921.long (accessed 19 September 2019).

Davies K, Johnson EL, Hollén L, et al. (2019)  Incidence of medically attended paediatric burns across the UK. See: https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2019/04/16/injuryprev-2018-042881 (accessed 18 September 2019).  

Kemp AM, Jones S, Lawson Z, Maguire SA. (2014) Patterns of Burns and Scalds in Children. Archives of Disease in Childhood 99(4):316–321.

SafeTea. (2019) About SafeTea. See: https://safetea.org.uk/about-safetea/ (accessed 23 September 2019).

Image credit | iStock