Specifier Review

Tragic toddler death in shower should act as industry wake-up call

The death of a West Midlands toddler after being scalded in a shower is yet another tragic reminder of how dangerous hot water can be to vulnerable groups, warns anti-scald specialist Inta.

Two-year-old Kristiana Logina from Smethwick suffered burns to 10% of her body when she was held under hot water by her mother, a court in Birmingham heard this week. The temperature of the water is thought to have reached 58 degrees.

The injuries were not instantly fatal but became septic when her mother, Eva Logina, failed to seek medical attention after the incident.

Cynthia Fisher, director of Inta, commented: “We are saddened to hear about this tragedy. Showers are less likely to cause severe scalding than baths, as far less of the body is instantly in contact with dangerously hot water. Because of this lower risk, thermostatic protection for showers was not made compulsory in last year’s Part G regulations as it was for baths.

“However this incident shows that there is a clear danger for certain vulnerable groups. The court heard this week that Kristiana’s mother was shockingly negligent for not seeking medical attention immediately after the scald, but this could easily be a similar case for an elderly person living alone. Too often they don’t want to cause a fuss and want to avoid being admitted to hospital at all costs, so could easily suffer a similar injury and not seek help.

“Common sense should have clearly prevented the tragic death of Kristiana, but an anti-scald shower would have prevented the injury happening in the first place. Builders, plumbers and installers should bear this in mind when fitting showers in bathrooms likely to be used by any vulnerable group. It may not be the law, but you can certainly play a part in educating your end customer about the potential dangers – and prevent this type of incident occurring at all.”