2005-09-06

Health: New Anti-Scald Bathtap Law

Scotland is to be the first part of the UK to introduce anti-scalding valves on water heating systems. The Scottish Executive' said the safety measure would apply from next spring (2006) to all new and renovated properties. The thermostatic valves would ensure water from a bath or bidet would be no hotter than 43C. Deputy Communities Minister Ms.Johann Lamont said there had previously been advice on water temperature control but no mandatory regulations. 'National Health Service' ('NHS') statistics in Scotland show an average of 125 hospital admissions a year for injuries sustained from hot tap water. About 20 per cent of burns patients under the age of 14 are thought to be victims of scalding. The Deputy Communities Minister said the move would protect elderly and very young people, who were particularly at risk from scalding water. She said scalding was a risk that exists every day in many areas, particularly in homes. The Deputy Communities Minister said:
'The severity of injury depends on several factors, with very young and elderly people being particularly at risk from the effects of very hot water. 'There are simple precautions that everyone should take to prevent scalding, but we have listened to the concerns of individuals and organisations and have decided we should act to help prevent these accidents. 'The problem can in part be dealt with through the Scottish building standards system, where we can be pro-active in taking action to address this hazard, which sees many people badly hurt every year.'
The move follows an appeal last year to MSPs on Holyrood's Public Petitions Committee. Mr.Darren Ferguson, 17, from Stenhousemuir, urged ministers to consider calling for regulations to ensure the valves were installed at a cost of 80_GBP. The youngster has undergone 59 major operations, numerous minor operations and LASER surgery since being scalded on the face and chest by bath water when he was six-months-old. 'Safety valves tackle scald risk', BBC NEWS, 2005/09/05 15:52:01 GMT

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