You use the tap a hundred times a day, so you wouldn’t normally
think that burns from hot tap water would be much of a concern.
However, the number of burns and deaths from hot tap water are
shocking. In the United States, 3800 injuries and 34 deaths occur
each year in the home due to scalding tap water. The majority of
these accidents involve the elderly and children under the age
of five. In addition, 35,000 children are treated in emergency
rooms for scalding injuries. Amazingly, 42% of scald burns involve
more than 10% of a child's total body surface area and most likely
involve the trunk, arms and legs.
There are many ways that people can be burned with tap water.
The most common methods are as follows:
• Children are left unattended in
• Children and the elderly are placed in bath water that is too hot.
• Children are in the bathtub when another child turns on the hot
• Children and the elderly fall into the bathtub.
• The sad fact is that these burns are very severe, not just a minor
burn that goes away after a few hours. In fact, www.antiscald.com
explains that the average bathtub scald burn covers 12% of the
body surface with a full thickness, third degree burn.
The most common reason that the water is too hot is because homeowners
turn up their hot water heater thermostat to increase the availability
of hot water. These people instead should have purchased a larger
hot water heater to have more hot water available. The factory
setting on new residential water heaters is 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is the highest setting considered to be safe; higher temperatures
can cause severe scalding. The table here demonstrates the time
it takes to receive a severe burn.