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Water heaters for hand washing?


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Hi

Just want some opinions please.

I am based in a village hall and the children (3yrs+) access the toilets independently. Hand washing basins and soap available but there is no running hot water. In the winter the childrens hands get really cold using the water from the taps. Thinking that its not good hygiene to have the basins filled with warm water there are two water heaters on the wall to use.

Would you let the children use these (turn dials) without an adult present? Are they safe to use if the children have wet hands when touching them? I am mindful that they could turn the dial and get scalding water(actually not sure of this so will have to look at them myself!!)..these are all the things that have run through my mind and hence we have told children not to use them. What if I put a sticker on the heater dial so children know not to turn it more than to the sticker?

Anyone else have these and let the children use them?

Unfortunately I haven,t got the staff for them to constantly supervise this and we cannot afford the money or space for portable hand washing facilities.

Thanks

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personally I would never trust that they would only turn them to where you have put a marker, or not turn them on because they've been told not to, you'd have to be sure that even at their hottest they were a suitable temperature, I think ours were pre-set at 35 degrees, barely above tepid but most children still choose to use the 'blue' tap and will tell you off if you go to use the 'red' tap, it's never easy in shared premises is it.

Edited by Mouseketeer
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We use water heaters in our village hall , our previous one was the type you were referring too and although the water temperature was checked it often resulted in water on floor etc ( some children could access independent but it was central to 2 sinks and the tap had to be swung across to each sink) . We check water temperature as part of our daily risk assessment and throughout the day, a good way is to fill sinks ready and then keep checking and refilling . Our children use the toilet independently but a member of staff always follows up to check hands washed etc.

 

The water heater we had was recently replaced with one that connects directly to the taps ( it is ground level and out of reach of children) , the temperature can be reduced and I would advise again that if you do this you check the water temperature throughout the day and first thing. Hope that is of help

Edited by lashes2508
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I personally wouldn't trust children on their own with water heaters........we are in the exact same situation in a village hall like you, we have to supervise because although we have hot water there is no thermostat on it so gets scorching hot. However you could do what we do in the main room and that is that we have adapted a 5 gallon drum, hubby fitted a tap to the lid and it now lays on its side on a table with a black dustbin below it, filled with warm soapy water then the children access it as and when needed to wash their hands (we do provide hand soap too) - maybe you could do that in the toilets if you aren't able to supervise?

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Sunny day the risk of legionnaires is from hot water tanks , and cold water tanks without correct flows, we had our hall legionnaires testing and using water heaters reduces the risk compared to water that is left , our heaters feed straight from mains and the water is heated as it is used.

 

Mrs Bat - there are regulations in place that the water should not exceed certain temperatures depending on your hot water system , the thermostat may need adjusting and I would bring this to your hall committee attention as all hall users are at risk of burns, hot water warning signs should also be in place by each hot water outlet and visible to all.

 

By running a sink of water with warm water and then refilling after each use solves any issues you may have regarding hygiene , although we encourage independence many of our children are not at that stage and I always ask staff to check on all that are unaccompanied , children are requested to let staff member know when they are going to use the toilet.

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Thanks Lashes :) When I say scorching I mean it would be for the children - ok for adults though at a push, we have got all the hot water signs up but I will bring it up with the hall committee re the temperature (we have done in the past but as with most village hall committees we don't get much notice taken of us....)

Sunny day the risk of legionnaires is from hot water tanks , and cold water tanks without correct flows, we had our hall legionnaires testing and using water heaters reduces the risk compared to water that is left , our heaters feed straight from mains and the water is heated as it is used.

Mrs Bat - there are regulations in place that the water should not exceed certain temperatures depending on your hot water system , the thermostat may need adjusting and I would bring this to your hall committee attention as all hall users are at risk of burns, hot water warning signs should also be in place by each hot water outlet and visible to all.

By running a sink of water with warm water and then refilling after each use solves any issues you may have regarding hygiene , although we encourage independence many of our children are not at that stage and I always ask staff to check on all that are unaccompanied , children are requested to let staff member know when they are going to use the toilet.

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We managed to persuade our parish priest to put in a hot water regulator which then controls the temperature of water to the hot taps - health and safety and all that - I'm sure as "landlords" they wouldn't want any hall users to be coming at them with a claim for scalding themselves!!!!!

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