Prevention Post: Children and Scalding

Each year 100,000 children are scalded by hot food or drinks and 5,000 children are scalded from hot tap water. The result is 100 deaths annually in the United States.


Let's help our communities prevent scald burns. Children under 2 years of age and the elderly are at risk. Because kids have thinner skin than adults, they are at higher risk.


Below are tips that you can share within your community:


Prevent Scalds in the Bathroom

  • Bath safely! Set the water heater's thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Install anti-scald or tempering devices on your shower and bathtub fixtures.
  • Fill the tub to desired height before getting in by adding cold water, then hot. Mix the water.
  • Test the temperature of the bath water before putting a child or yourself into the tub or shower. Temperature test cards such as Too Hot for Tots are available through the Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety at (800) 315-0911.
  • Face children away from the tub faucet to keep them from turning on the hot water.
  • Never leave children alone while they are bathing or showering.
  • Avoid flushing toilets, running water, dishwashers or clothes washers while others are showering or running water into the bathtub.