TEA HORROR Drinking Tea or Burning Our Children

(Disclaimer:  This campaign is not against tea; it is a preventive initiative

to teach the society to keep children away from hot cup of tea.)

Do you know that a cup of hot tea can cause a third-degree burn to a young child in one second?

Problem: In Pakistan 1 person gets burned every 5 minutes, either accidentally or non-accidentally according to Professor Dr. Tariq Iqbal of PIMS.

Moreover, unfortunately children from lower socioeconomic status are at a higher risk for burn compared to adults. They have thinner skin which burns more quickly (hot liquid at 60◦C only takes one second to cause a third-degree burn to a child’s skin). It was a miracle that these children survive.  Their parents took them to almost all the hospitals, but unfortunately there is no equipped facility that could stop the disfigurement from turning into a disability.

Even minor burns lead to lifelong morbidity, deformity and disability due to a lack of burn treatment, cost of care, delayed treatment, improper wound management and formation of contractures and other physical impairments. The consequences that result from burns are serious, including isolation from or even abandonment by the family, social segregation, lack of education and/or skills and extreme poverty.  The long-term consequences and the disability place a considerable strain on individuals and their families. The survivor’s family find pre-injury poverty levels worsen after recovery.

Statistical analysis of acute burn patients and causes of burns were conducted at Shlamar Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan

Objective: To identify the cause and factors associated with burn injuries.

Method:  This quantitative study was conducted. The sample consisted of a total of 362 acute burn patients treated from July 2018 to Nov 2018. The data was entered in excel sheets and results were drawn in the form of percentage charts, pie charts, columns and bar charts.

Burn injuries are most common in children under the age of 7 years (59%) and the most common cause of burn injuries among children is scalds – burn by hot tea. This is majorly due the careless behavior of parents.

Figure 4 below displays the overall result indicating hot tea to be the leading cause of burns in children age   groups 1- 4 followed by hot liquid, open flame, hot objects and other causes such as electric burns, chemical burns etc. respectively.

Applicability of Research to Practice:

The suffering caused by burns is even more tragic as burns are so eminently preventable thus the research study is used to effectively design and launch the burn prevention to change the high risk behavior in urban and rural areas of Pakistan.

Facts extracted from research:

  • Children (0-7 years old) are at a higher risk for burn compared to adults
  • Burns are the 2nd most common and serious injury to young children (0-5 years old) and the 3rd leading cause of death
  • Nearly 72% of all burns in children are scalds burn by hot tea and are preventable
  • Hot cup of tea can cause a third degree burn to a young child in one second
  • Parents play an essential role in burn prevention

Conclusion: Prevention is the key

Almost 76% of burns occur in the home and are preventable; truly the best way to treat a burn is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Effective prevention programs are much more cost-effective and will clearly reach greater numbers of people. These burns are mostly due the careless behavior of parents and lack of awareness in the lower socio-economic class of Pakistan which can be prevented with this message:

Parents keep hot liquids away from your children

Protect your children from getting burn and lifelong disability