Hot Drinks Policy for nurseries and children’s centres

Toddlers and young children are little adventurers. Any parent or childcare professional will tell you that. Infants explore their environment without the awareness of dangers, and yet everyday items such as hot drinks, are responsible for an alarming number of burns among children.

In 2016 more than 600 children a month required admission to an NHS Burns Service following a burn or scald injury. That’s more than 11 toddlers every single day. Shockingly, this figure only relates to the more serious injuries and does not include the thousands who were seen for more minor burns in A&E departments up and down the country.

Hot drinks policy

It takes just 30 seconds to ensure that mugs of tea, coffee and hot chocolate are put well out of reach, and after a while it becomes second nature.

Recently we were contacted by a parent whose child had been injured at a children’s centre. She wanted to provide the centre with some information to help prevent similar accidents happening to other children, and her efforts are helping put in place a new hot drinks policy.

She has kindly shared her story below:

My 1 year old child recently spilt hot coffee down himself at a children’s centre in Maidenhead. I wanted to supply them with information to help prevent this happening again to other children. I spoke with the manager and she said that the council had stopped hot drinks at the children’s centre once before but all parents complained and so they reintroduced them in thermos lidded cups.

However, I think these are more dangerous as parents think they are safe and walk around with them leaving them within reach of the children, my son managed to grab someone’s cup and pour hot coffee down his chest, these cups just keep the drinks hotter for longer. The manager said that she would raise the issue again with the council and they may put this out to the parents again for a decision/outcome.

My son is thankfully fine but it was a traumatic experience for all of us including his 3-year-old sister who witnessed the whole thing.

Mum took the brilliant step of sharing some resources from Children’s Burns Trust with her council and after lodging a formal complaint with them about the incident involving her child, they have taken the decision to suspend hot drinks from their sessions whilst they set up a policy review.

The council’s community manager has said that she will use the Child Accident Prevention Trust’s case-study supplied by CBT as the basis for their discussions on the policy on hot drinks going forwards.

If you would like to receive a copy of our Under 5’s Resource Pack, or would like case-study material to help encourage your nursey and council to implement a hot drinks safety policy, please contact us.

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