There have been quite a few recent articles in the press over the safe use of hot water bottles, given their increasing popularity.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind Care Providers about safe usage of these devices.
- Capacity assessment should be undertaken to ensure these devices can be used.
- A risk assessment should be carried out, recorded and retained (including – Can the person feel the heat? Can the person adjust/reposition? Is the hot water bottle less than 2 years old?)
- Consideration should be given to potential restrictive practice of denying use of the hot water bottle.
- Recommended that hot water bottles are best used as bed warmers, and removed before person enters the bed.
Tips for safe use:
- Fill the bottle with hot, but not boiling water.
- Make sure the stopper is securely screwed on.
- Fill the bottle to a maximum of three-quarters full.
- Wrap the bottle in a towel to prevent direct contact.
- Frequently examine the bottle for signs of wear and tear.
- Make sure it has been tested to BS1970:2006 standards.
- Expel all air above the water level before sealing carefully, to prevent injury from the escaping hot steam.
- Replace the bottle after two years – see how to check here.
- Special care should be taken when used by those with sensory deficits.