Approximately 45,000 Americans are hospitalized each year for the treatment of severe burns, according to the American Burn Association. Tap water scalding injuries have been cited as the most common cause of serious burn injuries, especially among children. The results of a burn can be extremely painful and expensive to treat. For many people, they require admission into specialized burn units of hospitals, as well as prolonged and costly medical care.
Burn injuries can be especially problematic because they are slow to heal, may require surgery (skin grafts, debridement or reconstruction surgery), prone to infection and leave permanent scarring (keloid scars or contracture scars) and disfigurement. There are different levels of burn injuries, consisting of 1st degree, 2nd degree and 3rd degree burns. Both 2nd and 3rd degree burns can be caused by exposure to scalding hot water for mere seconds.
Examples of accidents that cause scalding injuries include (1) defective hot water faucets; (2) sudden and unexpected scalding hot water from the tap; (3) defective boilers and (4) poorly maintained boilers and hot water heating systems.