Scalds - A Burning Issue
Scald injuries affect all ages. Young children and the elderly are most vulnerable, and the statistics are horrendous.
Nearly 300 people a year are so badly burnt that they have to be admitted to an NHS specialist burns service with severe scalds from the tap water in their bath, sink or shower - Two thirds of these are children. The young and elderly are especially vulnerable as their skin is thinner, so burns quicker, and they have less ability to remove themselves from the scalding water.
Medical professionals count bath water scalds among the worst injuries anyone can suffer. The burns suffered by scald victims are every bit as painful and destructive as those suffered by victims of fires or explosions. These are really sobering thoughts but scalding by uncontrolled hot water from taps and showers simply need not be.
Following Scotland’s excellent example in 2008, legislation was introduced in England in 2010 to ensure the installation of Thermostatic Mixing Valves for baths in new homes. These relatively inexpensive devices accurately control the temperature of water for showering, bathing and hand-washing. These valves maintain the pre-set temperatures even if the water pressure varies when other appliances in the building are used. Installed and maintained correctly, they can significantly reduce the risk of scalding in the home.
This legislation was a great step forward in preventing scalds.
Unfortunately all homes built before 2010 were not covered and the fact remains that the majority of us live in older properties, and therefore have no protection from this law. We are effectively at risk every time we turn on the hot water tap.
With this in mind the award winning Bathroom Manufacturers Association together with partners including the Children’s Burns Trust, have started a campaign aimed at stopping scalding accidents in existing homes by raising awareness of the dangers of hot water and by promoting the use of simple thermostatic devices to eliminate the risks.
Launched in October, an all-new website, endorsed by Amanda Redman MBE, one of the UK’s best loved actors and herself a scald victim, is being created as an anchor point for the campaign. It will be packed with information for kids, families and construction professionals.
The message is simple. Scalds can be prevented.