Harry is Right

First published: 23rd April 2010

I am really surprised by the new rules, issued BEFORE the inquiry has completed, specifying that bathwater temperature should be measured by thermometer ("New rules to prevent scalding of babies"). The rules seem to introduce a host of difficulties: clinical thermometers are unsuitable because they only measure in a narrow range; retail digital thermometers are cheap and quick, but also unreliable and not waterproof; a probe will accurately report the temperature of a small volume of the bath, which may not be well-mixed. On the other elbow, the traditional method illustrated by Harry uses a sensor that every nurse already possesses, and which, by being larger, tests more of the water in the bath. The procedure is quick and reliable.

The inquiry should address the question of whether the water was tested, until then, it is premature to throw out a testing method that has been used by nurses and parents reliably for decades.