I’m a first aid expert – here’s why you should never give microwave teddy bears to kids
CHILDREN love their stuffed toys and often cherish them for years on end.
But one expert has warned that a particular type could be putting your little one in harm's way.
Microwavable soft toys can be used to help soothe and comfort people.
They usually contain little wheat bags inside which heat up and are placed inside the toy – a little bit like a hot water bottle.
Paediatric nurse and mum Sarah Hunstead said it's important to note that these products should never be used in bed.
Posting to CPR Kids Instagram page, she explained: "The blankets trap the product’s heat and this may cause it to ignite, resulting in burns – even when used correctly, following the product instructions.
"This is especially dangerous for little ones, as they have more delicate skin that is susceptible to burns.
"These incidents have also been linked to house fires."
She said that instead of using the microwavable toys to keep your little one warm, you should use a high-rated TOG sleep suite or sleeping bag.
Previous studies have revealed that those using the packs have been left with severe burns.
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The Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia found that many households reported minor to severe injuries.
These include burns, ignition of the pack due to overheating and fires from placing a heated pack in a confined space.
In one case in 2013, a coroner ruled that one of the packs had in fact started a house fire, which resulted in a death due to smoke inhalation.
Experts at the NHS say that ice and heat packs can be used to help with injuries such as swelling.
Medics say that when an injury is over two days old, heat can be applied in the form of a heat pad, deep heat cream, hot water bottle or a bath.
Guidance states: "Heat causes the blood vessels to open wide
(dilate) which delivers more blood into the area to help the healing of damaged tissues.
"Heat also soothes or relieves pain and spasm leading to less stiffness.
"If heat is applied to the skin it should not be hot; gentle warmth will be enough.
"A towel can be placed between the heat source and the skin for protection. The skin must be checked at regular intervals."
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They did however, state that heat should not be used on a new injury because it could make the problem worse.
Medics say that ice give a longer-lasting effect on the circulation and the pain relieving properties are deeper than heat.
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