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Hot Water Bottle Safety

How to use a hot water bottle correctly and safely


Using a hot water bottle isn’t complicated, but it does involve more than just filling with boiling water and placing it under the covers. In fact, it shouldn’t be filled with boiling water at all! To get the most out a hot water bottle and to keep it in good condition for years to come, keep the following tips in mind.


1. Purchase the right hot water bottle for your needs. These days hot water bottles come in all shapes and sizes, and are made from a variety of different materials. For general warmth, a large, traditional bottle might be called for. If relief of sore muscles is the primary objective, a flexible bean or gel-filled bag might be a better option.


2. Take the time to inspect your hot water bottle before use. Make sure that the hot water bottle compliant with the latest British Standards, currently BS 1970:2012. To be certain you should be able to find a daisy like symbol on its surface. Look for cracks, fading, or small holes that could indicate a compromised product. Many hot water bottles may show both a production date and/or an expiry date. Replace older or worn bottles to avoid accidents.


3. Carefully fill the hot water bottle according to product specifications. Water that is too hot can break down the product more quickly and also cause burns to skin. Fill the bottle over a sink with hot tap water. Do not fill to more than 75% capacity as overfilling can result in leaking or exploding bottles. Never use boiling water!


4. Avoid direct contact between a hot hot water bottle and skin. The correct use is to wrap a cloth around it or place it in a hot water bottle holder. The extra material prevents scalding and also acts as further insulation to keep the bag warmer for longer. They should also not be leaned against or placed anywhere that results in direct pressure being placed on the bag.


5. To warm a bed or sleeping bag, place the hot water bottle (or two) under the covers for at least 15 minutes before crawling in to sleep. It’s not safe to keep the hot water bottle in bed while sleeping because of the risk of rolling over onto it and causing it to explode from excess pressure. Never sit or lie on a hot water bottle!


6. Children and babies should never be left alone with a hot water bottle, and bottles should not be placed directly on a child’s skin. For use warming a child’s bed, remove the hot water bottle before the child enters the bed to avoid unintentional burns or accidents. Always check the temperature of a hot water bottle to be used with children. Their skin is more sensitive than the skin of an adult and a lower temperature can be more appropriate.


7. After each use, it’s important to empty the hot water bottle and hang upside down to dry. Only once the inside is completely dry should it be folded and stored in a dark, dry location. Exposure to excess sunlight can result in cracks, while storing a wet hot water bottle can result in the growth of mould inside the bottle.


Hot water bottles have been used and enjoyed for centuries. Taking the time to use one correctly can result in a better experience and a longer shelf life for your hot water bottle. 

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