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Thursday, 19 January 2017 00:00

Bathing your baby can be dangerous! How to prevent your child from being burned.

Written by Jonathan Druckman

Did you know that there are about 5,000 serious injuries from scalding tap water each year?

Sometimes water that comes out of sink and shower faucets in your home can be too hot. Every year serious injuries, and in some instances death, results from hot water accidents. Unfortunately, a large percentage of all childhood burns are due to scalding in a residential setting. Burns can lead to permanent scarring and disfigurement.

Hot water heaters in the home or apartment can be set to temperatures well beyond that for comfortable human contact. Did you know that tap water can reach upwards of 150 degrees Fahrenheit? You should be very careful to avoid setting your hot water heater to maximum temperature. And water at temperatures of even 120 degrees can cause second and third degree burns.

According to the electric service company, PSE&G, 2nd and 3rd degree burning can occur in a matter of seconds depending on the water temperature. Placing your child in the bathtub before you check the temperature could have serious consequences.  

  • At 140 degrees, burns can occur in 5 seconds of exposure
  • At 150 degrees, burns can occur in 1.5 seconds of exposure
  • At 160 degrees, burns can occur in 0.5 seconds of exposure

These injuries can be prevented with just a few minutes and a few simple steps. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that household hot water heaters be set to a maximum of 120 degrees. You may want to consult your electric company or gas company for instruction before adjusting the temperature dial.

Here are a few other tips to keep you and your family safe:

  • Always check the water with a hand or wrist before entering
  • Never place a child in the tub while it is filling
  • Fill the tub with colder water first to prevent burns
  • Turn the cold water on after filling the tub to prevent a child from touching a hot tap

Most burns to children caused by hot water are completely avoidable. A landlord or contractor can be held responsible for burns caused by a hot water heater that is set too high. You may have a right to recover if you were the victim of a hot water burn due to a defective device or an improperly adjusted heater set by a landlord. If you were injured due to a hot water burn it is imperative that you know your rights and how to protect yourself to ensure that your medical bills get paid. Druckman & Hernandez offers FREE case evaluations and consultations. You can set up an appointment to speak with an attorney by contacting us 24/7 at 908-353-5850.

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