Families are being reminded not to relax safety precautions around the home during the school holidays, with the number of children being admitted to burns units continuing to increase each year.
On the back of Kidsafe's Burns Awareness Month in June, firefighters have joined with The Alfred Hospital to raise awareness of a shocking fact: more than a quarter of burns patients across Australia are children or young teenagers, according to Monash University's Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand.
Almost 80 per cent of children's burn injuries occur in the home, with the kitchen the most common location for these injuries to occur, followed by living areas.
The most common cause is scalds (57 per cent), followed by contact (23 per cent) and flame injuries (10 per cent).
Most scalds are caused by hot beverages, followed by water from a saucepan or kettle or from hot food.
Alfred Health Burns Nurse Practitioner, Hana Menezes, said 3367 people were admitted to a burns service last financial year, marking a continuation of a worrying trend.
"Unfortunately, we've been seeing this number increase steadily over the years and it's a trend we need to turn around," she said.
Winter is just as dangerous as summer when it comes to potential burns
"Winter is just as dangerous as summer when it comes to potential burns. Scalds, cooking-related incidents and burns from winter warmers, such as hot water bottles, all rise during these months."
Ms Menezes said taking simple safety precautions could prevent burn injuries.
"Replace old or worn items such as hot water bottles and cooking equipment, and always remain vigilant around hot oils and surfaces," she said.
"A burn is an injury with life-long ramifications. It's well worth taking a few moments to ensure it doesn't happen to you."
The risk of house fires also increases in the winter months.
The Country Fire Authority's Chief Officer, Jason Heffernan, said it was a timely reminder to take extra precautions while children were around to prevent a house fire and severe burns.
"We can help prevent either tragedy occurring by following some simple steps," he said.
"Always supervise children in the kitchen, keep them away from the stove and oven, and keep saucepan handles turned in.
"When it comes to fireplaces, make sure you have a properly fitted fire screen. Matches should also be stored safely out of reach and children should never be left alone near candles.
"Finally, make sure there is nothing within a metre of portable heaters, and ensure powered electrical appliances like hairdryers and laptops are not left on soft surfaces such as couches or beds."
Firefighters have also reminded Victorians to test their smoke alarms this school holidays.
Fire Rescue Victoria Commissioner, Ken Block, said testing if a smoke alarm was in working order only took a few minutes but could save lives.
"The best way to protect your family from fire is to install interconnected smoke alarms in every bedroom, hallway and living area of your home.
"We encourage you to do so - smoke alarms proactively save lives."
For more information about treating burns and reducing risks around the home, visit:www.kidsafevic.com.au