Burns - Safekids NZ child safety information


Hot Water Burns Like Fire: Always keep hot drinks out of the reach of children.

Burns are a leading cause of injury for young children. Of 1 to 2 year olds admitted to hospital due to severe burns, over half are caused by spilt hot drinks (tea and coffee) and other liquids. 

Burn injuries from fires occur less frequently, but are responsible for a higher number of fatalities than burns from hot substances.

Hot Water Burns & Fire Injuries in NZ


More than 5 children are burned severely enough to be admitted to hospital each week.


Around 5 children die each year.


More than half of 1 to 2 years old kids are hospitalised for hot water burns.

View Burns Resources

Click the link above to order or download resources (i.e. posters, flyers, infographics) relating to this injury issue.

First Aid

  • Run water from the cold tap gently over the burn for 20 minutes or until an ambulance arrives. For patients vulnerable to hypothermia (babies or elderly), luke warm water is ok. 
  • Do not touch the burn or burst any blisters as this can cause infection.
  • Once cooled remove clothing from the burned area. If clothing sticks, cut around the fabric.
  • Cover the burn with clean non-fluffy material (e.g. a sheet or loosely cover with plastic wrap) to prevent infection. Do not cover the face
  • Seek advise from your doctor or hospital.
  • In an emergency call 111

Burns from hot substances and objects

  • Never consume hot drinks or soup while holding a child.
  • During bath time, always run the cold water first 
  • Set your hot water temperature so it is 50-55° Celsius at the tap.

Fire & Flame

  • Clothing burns, please make sure your kids are always a metre from the heater.
  • Working smoke alarms saves lives.
  • For complete fire safety advice for your home, visit the NZ Fire Service website.

A trip to the beach may not be as appealing during the winter season, however ‘Lifeguards’are still needed, especially at home.

This radio campaign ‘Who’s Your Hot Water Lifeguard’ in partnership with Burn Support Charitable Trust encourages listeners to be the life guards and learn about important hot water burns prevention messages.

The radio ads feature the voices of New Zealand Breakers forward Dillon Boucher and Pacific radio host Nicole Rex. 

Click here to the radio ads.