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Pediatrics. 1989 May;83(5):766-71.

Liquid-crystal thermometer use in pediatric office counseling about tap water burn prevention.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin, Madison.


Tap water scald burns are an important topic of injury prevention in pediatricians' offices. Consecutive pediatric clinic clients, randomized to two groups, received an informational pamphlet, a one-minute discussion about tap water safety, and a baseline questionnaire. The first group also received a liquid-crystal thermometer for testing maximum hot tap water temperature. One month later in a follow-up telephone interview (n = 503), the impact of the added thermometer on knowledge regarding scalding, temperature testing, and thermostat lowering was assessed. Approximately 80% of each group read the pamphlet. Reading the pamphlet was associated with greater temperature testing in the thermometer (T) group but not in the pamphlet only (P) group. Temperatures were checked by 46.4% of the T group but by only 23.0% of the P group (P less than .001). In the households in which the reported water temperature exceeded 54.4 degrees C (130 degrees F) and the water heater was accessible, 77.3% reported lowering the setting, independent of receiving the thermometer. The reliability of self-reported water temperature was assessed after 1 year by home visits. The use of relevant facilitating devices, such as a liquid-crystal thermometer, in-office anticipatory guidance efforts may increase behavioral compliance.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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