Firefighters in Las Vegas tweeted a photo of a burned 9-month-old baby last week to warn parents of a summer safety issue we might not automatically think of. They shared the photo of Arizona mom Dominique Woodger’s toddler son, who was burned in 2016, saying:
Here in Las Vegas, a garden hose exposed to direct sunlight during summer can heat the water inside the hose (not flowing) to 130-140 degrees which can cause burns especially to children & animals. Let the water flow a few minutes to cool before spraying on people or animals. pic.twitter.com/FMkzEt27xl
— Las Vegas FireRescue (@LasVegasFD) June 4, 2018
Now I don’t live in Arizona or Las Vegas, but even here in Ohio with many many 90+ degree summer days, I can imagine that this summer safety warning is much-needed. I can say personally that I have never given a second thought to the temperature of the water inside my garden hose when I’ve turned it on for the sprinkler or the slip ‘n slide for my kiddos, but in many cases, just such a spray has had dire consequences.
Woodger’s story is told in this Parenting.com article from 2016, telling them that the incident where her son received 2nd-degree burns over 30% of his body happened while she was filling a baby pool full of water for him to play in. As she began spraying the hose in the direction of the baby pool, very hot water came into contact with her son as he sat on the ground.
“It’s heartbreaking. It is. It sucks. All of it was peeling. He had blisters all over the right side,” Woodger told ABC 15 News. At first, she had no idea what was happening. “I thought he was crying because he was mad because he hates when he gets sprayed in the face. I didn’t think that it was burning him,” she said.
But soon the painful truth became all too clear. Happily, Woodger’s son recovered well from his injuries, but she wanted to share her story to bring this summer safety issue to the attention of all parents. Thanks to that tweet from the Las Vegas fire department using her son’s photo and story, parents such as myself who have never heard this warning or thought of this danger before are now being informed and educated.
“Just be careful,” Woodger cautions. “Just touch it (the water) before you spray, before you let your kids near it.”
So, what should you do IF you suspect your child has a hot water burn, from the hose, or ANY source? KidsHealth.org has some tips for parents. For second and third degree burns, they are:
- Remove child from heat source
- Call medical help (911) immediately
- Remove clothing from the burned area (If you’re having difficulty removing clothing, you may need to cut it off or wait until medical assistance arrives. Do not pull it off if it is stuck to the skin.)
- Keep your child lying down with the burned area elevated.
- Apply cool water over the area for at least 3-5 minutes, then cover the area with a clean dry cloth or sheet until help arrives.
- DO NOT apply butter, grease, or any other remedies to the burn as this could make things worse and cause infection
- DO NOT break any blisters while waiting for help to arrive
For less threatening first-degree burns, read KidsHealth.org’s tips here.
Summer is ALL about fun, but with out door and water play involved, there are always a few summer safety issues to consider. Having never given garden hose hot water burns a second though, I am so glad I happened to see the Las Vegas fire department’s tweet and was able to investigate further. So, think before you turn on that hose – and tell your older kids to be aware, too. A drink from the water hose could be dangerous if you don’t make sure the water coming out is cool.
Have a safe and happy summer, my friends!