NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have issued a warning to parents after cases of children being treated for burns from hot water bottles doubled.
The Burns Clinic at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow has seen twice the number of patients being treated for burns this winter in comparison to last year.
Eleven child patients have visited the clinic as the cold weather continues throughout January with temperatures expected to drop in the coming weeks.
Health experts are warning parents to take extra care when filling up and heating the water bottles, especially when it comes to children.
Those using the hot water bottles are being urged to always use a cover, ensure the stop is screwed on correctly and never to ask a child to fill it up due to the kettle being heavy with boiling water.
Parents are also being told to let the water from the kettle cool after as pouring in directly after being boiled can degrade the rubber of the bottle and make it more likely to split when using it.
The bottle should only be filled around two-thirds of the way up and squeezing out the air should be done gently.
The NHS say a number of injuries they see come from a child squeezing the bottle and hot water coming out over their hands.
Children should also not sit on the bottle, press it with their feet, or take it into their bed as squeezing it too hard can cause it to burst.
Bottles that are two years older than their manufacture date, which can be found on the inside of the bottle funnel, should not be used.
A step-by-step guide to using the bottles safely has been created by NHS GGC on Youtube.
Sharon Ramsay, paediatric burns nurse specialist at the hospital said the cost of living crisis could be a factor in a rise in cases.
She said: “We believe the number of patients coming to us with burns from hot water bottles may be higher due the current cost of living and more people using them as an affordable way to stay warm at home.
“When filling these, especially as part of the bedtime routine, it can be easy to rush and that’s when mistakes happen.
“We’re asking families that are using hot water bottles for their children, and themselves, to take the time to consider the following steps to avoid any nasty incidents and unwanted trips to hospital.”
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