When the Burn Is a Scald, It’s Just as Dangerous

A scald is just as dangerous as a burn. Hot tap water is responsible for at least 17% of childhood scald hospitalizations.

If you were an adventurous kid and into everything causing your parents to go prematurely gray, then you likely have some personal experience with scalds. Remember reaching for that hot pot on the stove, touching it and having mom upset that you scalded your fingers?

The scolding you got, not to mention the painful fingers, served as a reminder that touching hot things isn’t a bright idea. The unfortunate thing is that scalds often happen unexpectedly. Ever been in the shower when someone flushed the toilet or ran the washing machine? Then you have firsthand experience with scalding water.

The traditional definition of a scald is when someone’s skin has close and personal contact with a hot liquid. Anyone remember the McDonald’s coffee case where an elderly woman scalded her thighs with hot coffee? Tap water, if the water heater is set too high, will also provide some tense moments when you turn on the water not expecting water “that” hot.

Generally speaking, if injuries like this – a scald from hot liquids – happen because someone else spilled something on you, they may be held liable for your injuries. One way to know for sure if you have a case is to talk to an Austin personal injury attorney.

While you might think this doesn’t happen that often, you may be surprised to find out that is not the case, and that over 100,000 of these accidents happen every year and involve drinks or food. Think restaurant accident where the waiter or waitress spills something on you. A further 5,000 painful burns happen as a result of exceedingly hot tap water.

That may happen if a babysitter or live-in companion for an elderly person doesn’t check the bathwater first. Burns on the delicate skin of children or seniors are serious. Hot tap water may reach 140 degrees F., and it can cause a full thickness, third-degree burn in five seconds flat.

There are also at least 60,000 accidents that take place every year as a direct result of touching hot objects. Think defective product, as in the case of young Peter Phott (names have been changed to protect the victim’s identity) who touched a hot water steamer that was within his reach while in the care of his grandparents. The steamer was a hazard and should not have been where Peter could get at it. The mom sued and won her case. Peter’s burns were so bad that he faces a lifetime of surgeries to help him use his hands.

The thing that most people don’t realize is that scalds are not only painful, but that they may even be disfiguring if the scald is classified as a second or third degree burn. If you have been scalded, make it a point to talk to an experienced Austin burn injury lawyer to find out how you may obtain compensation.

Beverly Aylmer writes for Lee, Gober & Reyna. If you need an Austin personal injury lawyer, contact an Austin personal injury attorney from Lee, Gober & Reyna. Visit RWLeelaw.com.