Children are curious and they learn through touching. Everything. And what could be more intriguing to a toddler than running water in the bath or sink? It’s important to take steps to keep your children safe and prevent burns or scalds from hot water in your home.
In a 2012 article “Burns: Hot Water Safety” by Edward R. Christophersen, PhD. on the Children’s Physician Network website, they offer a number of excellent tips for keeping small children safe around hot water, including:
• “When using tap water, always turn on the cold water first, and then add hot. When finished, turn the hot water off first.
• “Always test the water before your child gets into the tub or shower.
• “Don’t allow young children to touch faucet handles during the bath.
• “Make sure all faucets are properly labeled “HOT” or “COLD.”
• “Never leave a child alone in the bathroom for any reason. They are at risk for getting burned by hot water or drowning.
• “Set the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F (48°C) or lower. A child can be scalded in 2 to 3 seconds in water that is only 5 degrees higher – 125°F (52°C).”
If you are uncertain as to how to adjust the temperature on your hot water tank, you can call your local utility board or plumber and they can help you adjust your thermostat. (It’s a fairly simple process; there should either be a thermostat on the exterior of the tank or in a small panel that you set to the “low” setting.) If, for some reason, you can’t control the water temperature, you can install an antiscald device or have a plumbing company do it for you.
Turning your hot water down to 120°F is a simple home improvement task that can save children, the elderly, and adults alike from potentially damaging or even fatal burns. Take a moment now to check your hot water tank. Go ahead, we’ll wait…
Reference: Children’s Physician Network
Related blog article: Baby Proofing and Child Proofing Your Home – Part 1