Scalds are the most common type of burn in young children. In fact, a hot cup of tea or even a bath that’s too hot can cause scalding and burn your child, just like a fire can.
Facts about scalds and scalding
Hot drinks are the major cause of scalds. A freshly poured hot drink can burn a child instantly.
Other common causes of scalding include boiling water, hot tap water and hot baths, as well as hot food, soups and sauces. Hot water can scald up to half an hour after it has been boiled.
Children under two years are most at risk of scalding from hot liquids in kettles, teapots, saucepans and cups.
The safe bath temperature for newborn babies is around 36°C. For older children, it’s between 37°C and 38°C. Grown-ups tend to have baths in water between 41°C and 42°C.
Do you know how to treat a scald or burn? Our scalds and burns first aid article can take you through the steps.
Preventing scalds in the bathroom
The best way to prevent scalds in the bathroom is to have hot water delivered to the bathroom basin, bath and shower taps at a maximum of 50°C.
It’s important to remember that 50°C isn’t a bathing temperature. You still need to mix cold water with the hot water coming out of your taps to get the right bath temperature for babies and children.
Here are more tips to reduce scalding risks in your bathroom:
At 60°C it takes only one second to cause a full thickness scald. At 50°C it takes five minutes. Read more about safe bath temperature and bath safety.
Preventing scalds in kitchen and dining areas
These safety precautions will help protect your child from scalding in cooking and dining areas.
Equipment and appliances
Eating and drinking
The best way to prevent scalds is to keep your children’s play area away from your kitchen. Also keep hot food and liquids away from children.