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Atlanta Scalding Incident Illustrates Childhood Burn Dangers

A bathtub accident that took place last Wednesday in southwest Atlanta illustrates the all too real danger of water scalds.

In what police are considering an accident, a three-year-old child received scalds to his body during a bath. The incident came about after the child’s mother, on realizing there was no hot water for the boy’s bath, boiled water and poured it into the tub. A friend of the mother’s accidentally took a second pot of boiling water and poured it onto the child.

The boy was taken to the burn unit at Grady Memorial Hospital after the scald, where he was hospitalized in serious condition. Police are considering the incident accidental and no one has been charged with a crime.

Whether they occur through incidents with boiling water or through a poorly regulated hot water heater, childhood scalds are an all too common threat for young children. And scalds often have a devastating effect long after the initial incident. Treatment for burns is invasive and long lasting, and the effects of scalds and burns, including scarring and other physical and emotional disability – can stay with a person for life.

As with most childhood accidents, scalding can be prevented. Take these few simple precautions to reduce the risk of a burn or scald occurring in your home:

1.) Reduce the temperature on the water heater – 118 degrees Fahrenheit is a suitable maximum temperature for most home water use. Be sure to lower the temperature on your hot water heater, but also perform a check with a meat thermometer, as some hot water heater temperature regulators have been shown to be faulty.
2.) Purchase an anti-scald device – Anti-scald devices respond to rapid changes in water temperature, pressure or both. Head to your local hardware store for recommendations for the right anti-scald device for your home and situation.
3.) Never leave children alone in the bathtub or bathroom – Children are curious, and it can be surprisingly easy for them to turn the knobs in the bathtub or even the sink and release a stream of very hot water. Supervise children near water sources, and teach them that though the faucets may seem interesting to their developing minds, they are not toys.

Remember, children have thinner and more sensitive skin than adults, so you should always take special care to keep your young ones bathwater at a comfortable temperature. Two out of three accidental injuries of young children last year involved burns. Fortunately, there are many precautions you can take to prevent your child from suffering a burn or scald injury.

If you or your child has been scalded due to a faulty appliance, you may have legal recourse. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule your free consultation.