Be warned, that garden hose hanging out in the backyard can be very dangerous for children. When the summer months get hot and the kids are looking for relief, a spray down with the hose or filling up the kiddie pool might sound like good options, but keep this simple cautionary tale in mind when you reach for that hose.
Getting the kids outside in the summer months is necessary for play and exercise, but the heat can sometimes put a damper on spending too much time outside. Water activities are a good idea, but be advised that a garden hose can carry a hidden danger if it’s been left in the sun for any length of time.
Las Vegas emergency officials issued a warning after a baby suffered second-degree burns on his back and arms two years ago when he was sprayed by a garden hose. According to a report from KPHO-TV, the child, Nicholas Woodger, who was nine months old at the time, had blistered burns on 30% of his body after his mother had turned on the hose to fill the kiddie pool and accidentally sprayed the baby. The hose had been left in the Las Vegas sun for hours and the water inside was hot enough to do serious damage.
The Las Vegas fire department explained that people should use caution with hoses, noting on Twitter: “Here in Las Vegas, a garden hose exposed to direct sunlight during summer can heat the water inside the hose (not flowing) to 130-140 degrees which can cause burns especially to children & animals.”
They added: “Let the water flow a few minutes to cool before spraying on people or animals.”
The plastic tubing of a hose can be hot to the touch as well, so in addition to the recommendation to let the hot water flow out until it runs cool, it’s also a good idea to store a hose in a shed or garage, away from the direct sunlight.
Many people weighed in with comments on social media, with most believing this hose information is common sense. One commenter noted: “Who doesn’t know this!? I just used a hose on a dog today and had to wait 5-10 minutes to get all the hot water run through so I could use it. I put my hand in front of it to check the temp. This is common sense.”
Others agreed, with comments including: “You have to let your water run out a minute before you let it get on anyone. If any water is left from the time before, it will be heated from the sun” and “It’s common sense to know that the water would be hot. I thought it was just a natural instinct to most people to feel the water.”
Another commenter added: “I know we all make mistakes… some of us more than others, but as you pick up the hose, it would be hot and she kept spraying. He screamed and she still didn’t think anything… that’s messed up, poor baby.”
One commenter noted: “I do not believe it could happen to anybody. You don’t turn on the shower and just jump in! Always testing the water first is simply common sense. Poor baby!!”