Warning over hair straighteners burns

Share Button
Hair Straightener © Flickr.com Jainbow

Hair Straightener © Flickr.com Jainbow

Liverpool parents are being warned about the dangers of hair straighteners after a huge increase in the number of children suffering burns.

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital has joined forces with the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) to warn parents in Merseyside to be aware of the risks of children burning themselves on the scorching hot appliances.

The ESC said the number of children suffering burns from straighteners had doubled in recent years, with the injuries from hair straighteners now accounting for nearly one-in-10 burns injuries.

ESC’s Ben Stokes told JMU Journalism: “The initiative is mainly aimed at the parents and to make them aware of the dangers that hair straighteners impose, especially on their children.

“It’s not a case of bad parenting, it’s just that straighteners impose much more of a threat to toddlers and young children because their skin is thinner making them much more susceptible to the horrific burns we see.”

The majority of these incidents are when toddlers touch, grab or tread on the hot hair straightener plates after the appliance has been left lying around after use. The devices can take up to 40 minutes to cool down.

The campaign also calls for the manufacturers to do more to increase the safety of hair straighteners, which can become as hot as an iron when heated, and twice the temperature of boiling water.

Campaigners want manufacturers to use heat proof pouches to store the appliance in after use, therefore if a child was to pick up or touch the straighteners they would not get burnt.

A “mystery shopper” investigation of leading high street and online retailers found that none of the outlets sampled encouraged shoppers to buy heat proof pouches alongside their straighteners purchase, and most did not even sell the safety devices.

Stokes added: “We were really surprised with the very low amount of pouches available in shops. It is not just in Merseyside, it is a nationwide issue. We would not leave a hot iron on the floor so why straighteners?”

About Jack Horrocks, JMU Journalism