Hot Water Scalds
It only takes one second to get a deep burn in hot water when the water temperature is at 70°C. The Hot Water Burns Like Fire campaign aims to limit water temperatures in all homes to 43-45°c.
Data from the International Burn Injury Database (iBID)
232 children experienced burns/scalds in the bathroom so severe they were admitted to an NHS Burns Service in 2023. This does not include the many more who were treated in A&E departments.
Since 2010 there has been a legal requirement in England & Wales, and in Scotland since 2006, to limit bathing outlet temperatures in all new homes to 48°C. The fitting of special valves, called thermostatic devices, is a relatively simple way of ensuring that water flows at a temperature into sinks and baths to ensure that both the risk of disease and scalding can be eradicated.
The risk of legionella is the reason why our hot water has to be heated to high levels – the need for industrial, academic, medical, regulatory and social organisations to work together to raise awareness and work towards a solution in order that water is delivered at a safe temperature into our sink or bath, is an on-going requirement.
How to avoid bath, shower and tap scalding incidents
Whether your child loves it or hates it, there’s no avoiding bath time. A baby’s skin is thinner than an adult’s so hot water can pose a real danger. If the bath water is too hot this can cause a significant burn injury to a child that can lead to years of treatment and life long scarring.
- Cold water before hot. When running a bath always put the cold water in first and then bring it up to the required temperature.
- The ‘back of your hand’ test. Always test the temperature of your bath or shower water before use, particularly for young children or vulnerable adults. The back of your hand has thinner skin and is sensitive enough to test the temperature.
- Staying with your child. Many accidents happen when a child gets into the bath before it’s ready, play with the hot tap when they’re in the bath or lean over to pick out a toy and fall in.
- Thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs) are a great invention. They control the temperature of any hot tap so that you can have a nice hot bath or shower but they stop children being scalded within seconds. Some newer houses and flats have TMVs on the taps already, but you can get them installed by a professional. Or ask your landlord to fit one.
children a day are burned by hot drinks
children were burned or scalded in 2022
decline in fundraising income last year