Too hot to handle
Special Report: Too hot to handle
When kids use a public potty, Moms and Dads always make sure they wash their little hands to protect against germs. But 7NEWS found that in some bathrooms, the sink itself may be putting kids at risk. Water coming out of the faucet could be dangerously hot!
7NEWS went undercover with a licensed home inspector and tested the water in bathroom sinks at several restaurants, sports arenas and malls.
What 7NEWS found was shocking:
"It's very, very hot," Donald Lovering, a home inspector, said.
The water was hot enough to burn a child's hand in seconds!
This restaurant's hot water hit 128 degrees. According to the National Plumbing Code, the water from a public bathroom sink should not be heated any higher than 110 degrees.
"We'd expect anywhere from 106 to a maximum of 110, 112 degrees, maximum for a public restroom," said Lovering.
But in several restaurants 7NEWS checked, that wasn't the case.
The faucet at this Boston restaurant hit 130 degrees.
"If you're at 130 degrees, an infant can be burned in 30 seconds," said Dr. Ed Bailey, North Shore Children's Hospital.
And the water at this fast food place maxed out at a blistering 144 degrees, which burn experts say could scald a child's hand in less than five seconds!
"Your children are at risk," said Dr. Bailey.
"I think that's bad. Anyway, not just for kids, but for grownups. Anybody can burn themselves in that temperature," Jane Chaney, a concerned mom from Weymouth, said.
It happened to a 5-year-old girl at a fast food restaurant in Florida: a government report says the girl suffered 2nd degree burns to her hands within seconds, because the water was too hot.
7NEWS took our information to building inspectors and health departments around the state.
Many said they would review hot water levels in public restrooms in their communities, and 7NEWS alerted the restaurants with the hottest water. Several said they'd lower the temperature of the water immediately.
The best thing to do to keep your little ones safe is turn on the cold water first and slowly add hot water to it.
And home inspectors suggest you test your water at home, too. It's easy, just use a cooking thermometer. If it reads 125 degrees or hotter, our experts say call a plumber. They can help you lower the temperature.
That way, you'll be sure your water's not "Too Hot to Handle."
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