Each year, approximately 3,800 injuries and 34 deaths occur in the home due to scalding from excessively hot tap water. The majority of these accidents involve the elderly and children under the age of five. Most adults will suffer third-degree burns if exposed to 150-degree water for two seconds. Burns will also occur with a six-second exposure to 140-degree water or with a 30 second exposure to 130-degree water. Even if the temperature is 120 degrees, a five-minute exposure could result in third-degree burns.

Here are some suggestions to help you decrease the risk of a burn:

  • Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit Child’s bath water should not be higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Run cold water into the tub first, then add hot water to reach a safe temperature.
  • Before placing a child into the tub, always hand-test the water temperature
  • Face the child away from the faucets and keep them closer to the other end of the tub (away from faucets)
  • Never leave a child unattended in the bathtub
  • Put a small slide-bolt latch on the bathroom door to keep children from entering without supervision
  • When boiling water (cooking), keep pan handles turned to the side of the stove so they will not be pulled off of the stove by a child