Hot Water Can Burn a Baby in One Second

Baby in bathtub

I feel compelled to help families that have been affected by scald burns. I worked on and settled a case in the past in hopes that I will never have to see this type of injury again. Hopefully this post will help prevent another tragedy in Texas.

In 2005, I received a call from a distraught parent, whose 18-month-old baby girl was badly burned in a hotel bathtub from scalding water. Without going into too much detail, the adorable baby girl was under the faucet of a bathtub, and her 3-year-old brother accidentally turned the cold knob off. The water came out so hot that it burned the skin off the little girl’s legs and feet. The mother called 911, and life flight took the baby to the hospital. She stayed in intensive care for over two weeks and eventually received over seven surgeries. Her life will never be the same.

As it turns out, the hotel where the little girl was staying had a hot water heater set well above the industry standard. The tests my law firm conducted showed temperatures reaching above 190 degrees! As you know, boiling is at 212 degrees. After two years of litigation, a confidential settlement was reached.

I tell you this story so that you can make sure the hot water heater in your home is set at a safe temperature. A lot of you have infants and children in your home, and I know every parent wants to protect his/her child from harm.

Here are some helpful tips to avoid a hot water burn:

  • Check the temperature setting on your hot water heater regularly and never set it above the standard and recommended temperature settings. Hot water should never reach above 110 degrees with children in the home.
  • When you are away from home, check to see how hot the water seems to get before allowing children to bathe. If you feel it is too hot, do not allow your children to bathe without your supervision.
  • Always remain with your infant when bathing. Never leave a baby unattended in any bath.
  • Remember to keep pots of boiling water to the back burners so that children can’t reach them.
  • Teach older siblings about hot water safety.

REMEMBER: A baby’s skin can receive a 2nd or 3rd degree burn in approximately 1-3 seconds with water at 140 degrees. The same formula applies to a senior citizen’s skin.

If you have suffered from a hot water burn, call my law firm so we can help you navigate through your claim.

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Gregg S. Harrison has been practicing law in Texas since 2001. He focuses on cases involving all types of accidents, product liability, personal injury, and premise liability. Mr. Harrison is also an experienced family law and estate planning attorney. He is dedicated to helping clients through extremely stressful situations.