Hot Water Burns And Your Child

When you put your child in a bath tub at an apartment complex, hotel/motel or housing project, you have a reasonable expectation that the hot water will come out a safe temperature.

The temperature of the hot water that comes out the spigot is controlled by the property manager. As a parent, you are relying on the management to supply you with hot water that is not dangerously hot.

Yet you might be surprised to find out that the property manager has no idea what a safe water temperature is. What can you do?

It’s not a bad idea to ask the property manager what their policy is about how hot the water should be that gets delivered to tenants and guests (it better be 120 degrees Fahrenheit or less). Ask also how they enforce that policy – who checks the thermostats in the boiler/hot water room? How often? Is the boiler room locked and off limits to other tenants/guests? Does your unit have installed an anti-scald device or mixing valve that would prevent excessively hot water from making it to your child?

And if it is too late for your child (they already have scald burns) and those burns are severe, you might want to consider taking your child to Children’s Hospital of Alabama. They have the only pediatric burn center in the Southeast. Here are their Top 5 Tips on how to prevent scald burns among children:

Scald burn prevention ought to be a mandatory part of every property manager’s training. Unfortunately it is not and at times this means innocent children suffer.

If you need help thinking through your legal options with regard to a scald burn, click on my name below and call me or email me at ppearson@dplaw.org. Helping children is my passion.

Attorney Peter Pearson

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