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Preventing burns from electrical items

Electrical items can cause burns.

These include:

  • kettles
  • coffee makers
  • microwaves
  • irons
  • hairdryers
  • hair straighteners
  • electric heaters

Keep electrical equipment and flexes out of your child’s reach. Store them away safely.

Electrical appliances also pose a fire risk. Switch off and unplug electrical equipment when it is not in use. Make sure equipment has cooled down before storing away.

Hair straighteners

Hair straighteners can reach 200 degrees Celsius and higher. They take up to 40 minutes to cool down.

Hair straighteners can cause injuries to children. Most injuries happen after the straighteners are switched off.

The most common injury is on the hand. Injuries also happen on the head, arm and foot.

The average age of children admitted to hospital with hair straightener burns is 18 months.

Keep hair straighteners out of children’s reach. Switch off and unplug straight away after use. Store in a heat-resistant bag out of reach.

Electrical flexes and cords

Make sure children are not able to pull at the iron’s flex or cord when it’s in use.

Use a short flex for kettle and other electrical equipment. This includes coffee makers and slow cookers. A short flex makes it harder for children to pull them closer.

Beware also of the strangulation risk of flexes and cords.

Strangulation risks for children

Electric blankets

Never use an electric blanket on a child’s bed. They could tamper with the blanket, flex or plug. This may result in an injury or a fire.

Do not use damaged electric blankets in your home. Check electric blankets and their flexes regularly for signs of wear and tear.

Make sure there are no creases in the electric blanket and it lies flat on the mattress.

Electric heaters

Consider fitting a guard to electric heaters to stop your child touching them. Turn off heaters and plug them out when not in use.

Fire dangers in your home

Page last reviewed: 23 January 2023
Next review due: 23 January 2026