Parents warned of devastating injuries caused by straighteners

Horrific burns suffered by a young child who touched a pair of straighteners as they were colling down.   DER2215MC034

Horrific burns suffered by a young child who touched a pair of straighteners as they were colling down. DER2215MC034

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Home Accident Prevention Committee holds 50th anniversary conference in Derry with a special award for outgoing president Albert Smallwoods MBE

Parents in Derry have been warned of the serious injuries than can be caused to a child who touches a pair of hot hair straighteners.

The warning was issued at the 50th anniversary of the Home Accident Prevention Committee held in Derry last week.

The committee warned that falls continue to be the biggest cause of accidents around the home, especially among the young and elderly - but they also warned of the devastating injuries that can be caused by a child touching straighteners that have been left unattended.

Hair straighteners are metal or ceramic plated tongs which can reach temperatures of up to 235 centigrade - hot enough to fry an egg – and take 40 minutes to cool down.

Albert Smallwoods who has been with the committee for 49 years revealed that hair straighteners are a huge problem.

“They are set down and a child just reaches for them,” he said. “It’s just so sad, injuries caused simply by making the mistake of not putting them out of reach.”

Alan McKinney, Medical Director of the Western Trust said hot hair straighteners, even though unplugged can cause nasty injuries as they cool down.

“As society moves on we invent new dangers,” he said. “That is why we need groups like this keeping an eye on new dangers that emerge such as hair straighteners. We need close working between emergency departments and voluntary agencies to have fresh information so we can update campaigns.”

“Hair straighteners can get very hot and a child grabbing on to a hair straightener can get a nasty burn.”