Water Safety

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How Can I Prevent Hot Tap Water Burns (Scalding)?

  • Most hot water heaters are set at 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit). This is too hot! Your child’s skin can burn in just one second at this temperature. Lower the temperature of your hot water heater to 49C (120F). You will still have lots of hot water for your home.
  • If you can’t control the water temperature, put anti-scald devices on your taps. An example of an anti-scald device is a valve that can be installed on a tap which stops water from flowing when it gets to a certain temperature.
  • When running a bath, put the cold water in first. Then add hot water until the bath is warm, not hot. Run a bit more cold water at the end to cool off the faucet.
  • Before you put your child in the bathtub, test the bath water with your wrist and elbow. The water should feel warm, not hot. The right temperature for your child is cooler than the temperature you want for your own bath.
  • Keep your child away from the hot water tap. Never let your child turn on the tap.
  • Never leave young children alone in the tub.
  • If your child is under five years of age, never put them in a hot tub not even with an adult. Hot tubs are often too hot for children, and they can have high levels of bacteria. The hot tub drain can trap your child.

How Can I Prevent Drowning?

Stay beside your child at all times when they are close to water or in the water. This includes the bathtub. Never leave your child alone, even for a few seconds.

Young children are at risk of drowning because they can move fast and they don’t understand danger. Remember, a baby or child can drown in only five centimetres (two inches) of water.

  • Children should be watched at all times, especially around water. Check for water hazards near your home: bathtubs, hot tubs, swimming pools, rivers, lakes, ditches, ponds, sewage lagoons and canals. If you have a water hazard on your property (such as a pond), put a high fence around it so that your child cannot reach it.
  • If you have a swimming pool, make sure it is fenced in on all four sides. It should have a gate that closes and latches by itself.
  • If you have a hot tub, cover it tightly when you are not using it.
  • Make sure your child wears a personal flotation device at all times when in a boat or on a dock. Check the label to make sure it is the right size for your child. The device should also have a label that says it meets Canadian safety standards.
  • Use a rubber bath mat or non-slip stickers in the bathtub to prevent falls. EY

For more information call:

Canadian Red Cross

Lifesaving Society
National Office 613-746-5694

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