Burns from Hair StraightenersSeptember 2, 2010
A new safety accessory which has been invented for hair straighteners and other heated hair tools, aims to reduce the number of children who suffer burns from accidentally touching them whilst they are hot. Gripeze is a non-slip, heat-proof, safety mat which changes colour according to whether the instrument touching it is hot or not.
When a heated pair of hair straighteners or curling irons are placed upon it, the surface of the mat becomes white, alerting you or your child to the fact that the tools are still hot and should not be touched. Because it is non-slip, Gripeze also reduces the risk of heated hair tools falling off tables whilst they are in use, and potentially burning people as they do so.
The mat may also be used to wrap around the hot instruments so that its heat resistance protects your child should they go to touch or pick them up. As heated hair tools can often take a while to cool down, this feature of the mat also makes it useful for safe storage, allowing you to put your straighteners or tongs away safely as soon as you are finished with them.
Gripeze is the brainchild of Maria Smyth who was inspired to invent the product after her youngest daughter was burnt by a pair of hair straighteners. Speaking of her product, Ms Smyth said: “Small children might not understand or take notice of the changing colour warning but it’s there for the mums to see. By being able to wrap up the tongs it gives a safe way to store out of reach and if it prevents one child getting burnt it will be worth it”.
The product has entered the market shortly after a study by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) revealed that over the last 10 years, there has been a 50% rise in children getting burned by hair straighteners. Hair straighteners can reach temperatures of up to 220ºC and stay hot for as long as eight minutes after they have been switched off. With children’s skin being much thinner than adults, it is no surprise that at such potentially high temperatures a pair of straighteners could scar a child very badly.
Bearing this information in mind, Gripeze is heat-resistant up to 250ºC and during tests it was found that a heated pair of straighteners could be left on a Gripeze mat all day and not cause any damage to the surface underneath.