Aim The high incidence of hot beverage scalds among young children has not changed in the past 15 years, but preventive campaigns have been scarce. A novel approach was used to engage mothers of young children in an app-based hot beverage scald prevention campaign ‘Cool Runnings’. This paper provides baseline data for this randomised controlled trial (RCT).
Method Queensland-based mothers aged 18+ years with at least one child aged 5–12 months were recruited via social media to Cool Runnings, which is a two-group, parallel, single-blinded RCT.
Results In total, 498 participants from across Queensland completed the baseline questionnaire. The most common source of burn first aid information was the internet (79%). One-third (33%) correctly identified hot beverage scalds as the leading cause of childhood burns, 43% knew the age group most at risk. While 94% reported they would cool a burn with water, only 10% reported the recommended 20min duration. After adjusting for all relevant variables, there were two independent predictors of adequate burn first aid knowledge: first aid training in the past year (OR=3.32; 95% CI 1.8 to 6.1) and smoking status (OR=0.17; 95% CI 0.04 to 0.7).
Conclusion In this study, mothers of young children were largely unaware how frequently hot beverage scalds occur and the age group most susceptible to them. Inadequate burn first aid knowledge is prevalent across mothers of young children; there is an urgent and compelling need to improve burn first aid knowledge in this group. Given the high incidence of hot beverages scalds in children aged 6–24 months, it is important to target future burn prevention/first aid campaigns at parents of young children.
Trial registration number ACTRN12616000019404; Pre-results.
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