WATER TEMPERATURES SAFETY
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FACILITY TO PROMOTE HEALTH AND SAFETY
WATER TEMPERATURES SAFETY

WATER TEMPERATURES

Hot water heated to at least 120F is needed in every child care facility to clean, sanitize, and disinfect food utensils and sanitize laundry. However, very hot water (above 120F) can be a hazard to children. Tap water burns are a leading cause of nonfatal burns. Children under 5 years of age are the most frequent victims of such burns. Water heated to 130F takes only 30 seconds to burn the skin. If the water is heated to 120F, only 10F cooler, it takes 2 minutes to burn the skin. That extra 2 minutes could be enough to get a child away from the hot water source and avoid a burn.

Such scalds can be prevented by "scald resistant" faucets, which have built-in temperature valves. The thermostat for the valve can be set between a range of degrees. Some states require scald-resistant faucets in all new construction. You should have scald-resistant faucets installed in those sinks or bathing fixtures that children use. You may need to have a plumbing contractor install these faucets. Have the contractor set the valve at or below 120F.

As mentioned earlier in the discussion of outdoor playground equipment, the water in pools used for wading or swimming should be maintained between 82F and 93F.

Note: This information is not intended to take the place of your state's or locality's child care regulations and laws. In every case, the laws and regulations of the city, county, and state in which the child care facility is located must be carefully followed even if they differ from these recommendations.

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