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Alzheimer's & Dementia
Kitchen & Dining
Living Room - Any Room
Smart Home
Outdoors - Wandering

Scald Safe - Introduction

Hot Water Risks
He/she confuses hot & cold water knobs
He/she forgets how to mix hot & cold water
Sudden surge of hot water

Scald Prevention vs. Bacterial Growth
Severe burns occur in 5 seconds at 140° F; in 1 second at 150° F
Lower water heater temperatures increase Legionnaires risk

Learn Simple Scald Strategies

Consumer Guide

People with dementia are at an increased risk for hot water burns. They may confuse the hot and cold water handles, and they may forget how to blend the hot and cold water to a safe temperature. Or there simply may be a sudden surge of hot water when someone nearby flushes the toilet.

Homes and apartments have water heaters commonly set at 140° to 150° F – temperatures at which a severe burn can occur within 1 to 5 seconds. However, lower water heater temperatures tend to increase bacterial growth. For example, 120° F has been the standard recommended water heater temperature for reducing hot water scalding risk. But individuals with compromised health and those undergoing chemotherapy are at increased risk for Legionnaires Disease with water stored at these lower temperatures.

It's important that you assess scald risk for both yourself and your care receiver. We've sorted through a wide body of literature to help you choose a scald safety strategy to meet your needs. Click on "Next" to learn about simple things you can do.

We've also created a Consumer Guide that has more detailed information, including vendor information.

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