Perceptions of tap water temperatures, scald risk and prevention among parents and older people in social housing: A qualitative study

Burns, 04/26/2012

Durand MA et al. – Those seeking to introduce engineering–based scald prevention interventions in social housing should emphasise the potential environmental and financial impacts of water temperature reduction, in addition to promoting safety benefits for vulnerable others.


  • Analysis of twenty in-depth interviews with 11 parents and 10 people aged 65years or older.


  • Tap water was described as very hot, but participants did not consider themselves at risk, viewing scald prevention as a personal responsibility achieved with a range of everyday, routine strategies.
  • Very hot water was preferred for health- and convenience-related reasons.
  • However, it was felt that others, particularly children, could be scalded, and some concern was expressed about the environmental and financial impacts of excessively hot water.

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