Pediatric burn prevention: an evaluation of the efficacy of a strategy to reduce tap water temperature in a population at risk for scalds

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1989 Aug;10(4):187-91.


The efficacy of a strategy to prevent tap water scalds was evaluated in a population at risk. Educational pamphlets and liquid crystal thermometers for testing water temperature were distributed to 12 families, each of which had at least one child under the age of 3 and one child over the age of 3. Participants were visited individually by an investigator who monitored tap water temperature in a standardized manner and personally provided the educational material. No statistically significant decrease in hot water temperature occurred as a result of the intervention. The number of heaters operating at a safe temperature was not statistically different pre- and postintervention. Whether participants altered their thermostat settings or not, there was a tendency to maintain postintervention settings at 1-month follow-up. Capitalizing on this tendency by installing heaters at preset safe temperatures was discussed, as were changes in heater design and areas for additional research.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home / prevention & control*
  • Burns / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Temperature*
  • Water Supply*