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Hair gadgets a  burn risk  for children
Emerging trend: Burn injuries caused by hair straighteners. Picture: Supplied

Doctors are warning of an emerging trend for burn injuries in children caused by hair straighteners and treadmills.

Three children have been treated at Princess Margaret Hospital's emergency department in the first five weeks of this year for contact burns from hair straighteners, which have surged in popularity in the past few years.

The hospital treated eight burns from the hair care appliances last year and five in 2012. Overall, it treated 443 burns cases last year and 497 in 2012.

Professor Fiona Wood, director of WA's Burns Service and head of the Fiona Wood Foundation, said burns injuries from hair straighteners and treadmills were increasing in children, on top of the usual burns risks.

Some injuries were so severe children had to be admitted to hospital.

Last year, two children had to be admitted to PMH because of hair straightener burns, four because of treadmill burns and 11 because of sunburn.

"There are always new injuries on the horizon and we all need to understand hair straighteners are hot, take a long time to cool down and can burn," she said.

"Also, unguarded treadmills present a danger to children with a combination of friction and contact burn, often on the hand, with life-long consequences."

Professor Wood said that as well as the more novel and emerging causes of burns, there were summer perennials such as injuries from sunburn or hot surfaces such as the pavement.

"We should be mindful of where we live and our beautiful blue sky can have a sting in the tail, with sunburn and contact burns from the hot pavement increasing every summer, some so severe that children need hospital care," she said.

"So the message is be aware, take care, slip slop slap, and don't forget the shoes."

Australian Medical Association WA president Richard Choong said burns were common and people had to be vigilant.

"Most people know the obvious things that can burn, like a hot pan, but they often forget everyday risks such as how hot the pavement can get," he said.

"But the current weather we're having means roads and pathways can become extremely hot, so bare feet is not a good idea."