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Feasibility of Safe-Tea: a parent-targeted intervention to prevent hot drink scalds in preschool children
  1. C Verity Bennett1,
  2. Linda Hollén2,
  3. Harriet Dorothy Quinn-Scoggins1,
  4. Alan Emond2,
  5. Alison Mary Kemp1
  1. 1 Division of Population Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  2. 2 Centre for Academic Child Health, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr C Verity Bennett, Division of Population Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF14 4YS, UK; bennettcv{at}


Objective Despite the high prevalence of preventable hot drink scalds in preschool children, there is a paucity of research on effective prevention interventions and a serious need to improve parents’ knowledge of first aid. This study investigates the feasibility of ‘Safe-Tea’, an innovative multifaceted community-based intervention delivered by early-years practitioners.

Methods ‘Safe-Tea’ was implemented at Childcare, Stay&Play and Home Visit settings in areas of deprivation in Cardiff, UK. A mixed-methods approach was used, including preintervention and postintervention parent questionnaires and focus groups with parents and practitioners to test the acceptability, practicality and ability of staff to deliver the intervention, and parents’ knowledge and understanding.

Results Intervention materials, activities and messages were well received and understood by both parents and community practitioners. Interactive and visual methods of communication requiring little to no reading were most acceptable. Parents’ understanding of the risk of hot drink scalds in preschool children and knowledge of appropriate first aid improved postintervention. Parents knew at baseline that they ‘should’ keep hot drinks out of reach. Focus group discussions after intervention revealed improved understanding of likelihood and severity of scald injury to children, which increased vigilance. Parents gained confidence to correct the behaviours of others at home and pass on first aid messages.

Conclusion This feasibility study is a vital step towards the development of a robust, evidence-based behaviour change intervention model. Work is underway to refine intervention materials based on improvements suggested by parents, and test these more widely in communities across the UK.

  • burn
  • mixed methods
  • community
  • child
  • behaviour change

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  • Contributors We confirm that all authors have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content and (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.

  • Funding This research was supported by funding from the Scar Free Foundation, Health and Care Research Wales and Cardiff University’s City Region Exchange.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the Cardiff University School of Medicine Research Ethics Committee (Ref: 16/29) and Cardiff and Vale UHB (Ref: 16/AUG/6609).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.