Electric water heaters: A new hazard for pediatric burns

Shiow Shuh Chuang, Jui Yung Yang, Feng Chou Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The electric water heater has recently become a popular household appliance replacing the hot water dispensing jug. This device provides hot water and potable cool water directly from the faucets thus removing the need to refill the container or boil water separately in a kettle. Along with the convenience of dispensing hot water immediately has come an increased incidence of pediatric burns. This paper presents a 6-year retrospective study of such pediatric scald burns from 1996 to 2001. Computer database records revealed that the incidence of pediatric scald burns caused by the electric water heater during the past 6 years was 6.4% (66/1028). The age of victims ranged 0-6 years (mean 1.5±1.1 years), most of the victims were in the 1-2-year-old group. In most common cases burn location was the trunk. The accidents often occurred during the cold months and in the living room of the house. From this retrospective study, it was seen that the etiology and incidence of scald burns among children have changed as people have modified their household practice for obtaining hot water in our country. This study aims to increase public awareness to the problem and suggest some prevention measures to reduce this type of scald injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-591
Number of pages3
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Pediatric burn
  • Water heater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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