‘Straighteners a risk to Derry kids’- Dobbins

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A member of Derry City Council’s Home Accident Prevention Committee is urging people to be aware of the dangers hair straighteners pose to children.

SDLP councillor Angela Dobbins said it was vital parents follow simple safety advice around straighteners to prevent serious accidents at home and gave her backing to a national campaign to be launched later this month.

“The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) is launching a major campaign on January 31 on the dangers of hair straighteners for babies and young children.

“This is an excellent campaign, and one which I really hope people pay attention to,” she said.

“The message is simple - turn your hair straighteners off immediately after use, place them straight into a heatproof pouch and put them well out of reach and sight as soon as you’re finished.”

Councillor Dobbins said the dangers of straighteners can not be underestimated.

“Children have attended A&E with burns on their hands and face because they have reached for hair straighteners or pulled them down.

“Even burns on feet and legs have been reported as children have stepped on, or sat on hair straighteners.

“Children mimic what adults do and will try to use them with disastrous results but, by following the simple safety measures of the campaign, accidents can be prevented.

“It only takes a few minutes, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry,” she said.

The ESC warn that hair straighteners can reach temperatures in excess of 200 degrees - hot enough to fry an egg - and can take as long as 40 minutes to cool down. As children’s skin can be 15 times thinner than adults, they can be badly burned very quickly.