Keeping your home hot water safe.
The home is undoubtedly a place of security and serenity for our little ones. It is a place where they feel safe, nurtured and comfortable enough to explore and play.
Our homes are a beautiful space for learning and development; however, they can also be a place where tiny explorers can find trouble in a second – that’s all it takes for a young child to acquire severe burns from hot liquids and steam.
We all understand the danger of hot water, of leaving hot liquids within reach of little hands, but are we all proactively taking steps to ensure that the risk of burns is mitigated as best we can?
Burns and scalds are one of the most serious, painful and long-term injuries for young children. These are also injuries that are all too common, with too many children presenting to our emergency departments on a daily basis. Don’t let your child be a statistic, take the time to ensure your home is safe from dangerous hot water facilities by following a few simple and practical tips:
• Ensure that the water coming out of your taps is at a maximum of 50°C. This is considered a low-risk temperature for hot water burns.
• Install anti-scald devices on taps and shower outlets. These are available from hardware and safety product stores.
• Look for child-resistant taps or tap guards in the bath to make sure little fingers are unable to turn the hot water faucet on themselves.
• Always turn on the cold water first, then the hot and make sure you double check the temperature before putting your child in the bath or under the shower. Mix the cold and hot water well to also ensure there aren’t any hot spots!
The best way to ensure your home is protected from dangerous hot water is to contact your plumber and have your home assessed for areas of improvement and recommendations for any safety features that may be available to you.
Many hot water systems can be fitted with an appropriate temperature control. Call your heater manufacturer, local gas supplier, plumber or gas-fitter for information on available products and options.
We love a continuous-flow hot water heater as they have fitted temperature control features perfect for keeping your hot water appliances safe. Many homes may have heaters with an uncontrolled energy source, such as solar or slow-combustion. These systems cannot be temperature controlled, so take care and perhaps look to change over your current system for a safer home and peace of mind.
Despite best efforts, scalds and burns can and do happen. If this does occur be sure to apply cool running water to the scalded area for at least 20 minutes and even up to three hours afterwards. Do not use ice, butter or ointments. Remove all clothing, including nappies, as clothes hold in heat, often causing a deeper burn. After cooling the skin, cover the scald with a clean plastic bag or kitchen cling wrap and of course seek medical attention immediately or phone triple zero (000) for an ambulance.