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If it's too hot to handle, it's too hot.


How many time have you turned on the hot water and found it hot enough to burn your hand? If a small child has access to such a water faucet, he or she is very likely to be seriously scalded. At 140[degrees!, a common setting in many homes, a child can get a third-degree burn in three seconds.

For some reason, many homeowners think hot water should be set at scalding temperatures in order to do kitchen or bathroom cleaning chores. rather, it is the soap that does most of the work, whether on bacteria or grease. Water set at 120 [degrees! is more than adequate for normal household use if hotter water is needed, one can always heat it on the stove. By adjusting the temperature control at the base of most water heathers, one should be able to maintain a constant water temperature. Adjust the temperature until you are able to hold your hand under the hot water for a short time without burning it.

Most of the serious tap water burns of children occur in low-income apartment buildings where high boiler temperatures are often maintained beyond the control of tenants. Safe Kids, a project of Washington, D.C.'s CHildren's National Medical Center and the Johnson & Johnson company, is tackling the problem by developing an inexpensive safety valve that can be installed in existing faucets. A temperature-sensitive spring within the valve turns off the water when it reaches 120 [degrees!. For information on protecting children from such accidents, send $1 to National Safe Kids Campaign, 111 Michigan Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20010.
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Title Annotation:adjusting tap water temperature to avoid burns
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Feb 1, 1991
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