Hot water bottles were invented in 1903 by Eduard Penkala. His design featured a hollow rubber bag that could be filled with warm water. Oddly, before it was made of rubber, it was made of copper or brass, which caused numerous injuries and burns. In contrast, Katie Piper shared that rubber hot water bottles are seemingly just as dangerous, particularly if the product has expired.

Katie Piper Issues a Warning

Katie Piper has made a name for herself, turning her tragedy into a lucrative success that has also helped create a brighter world for burn victims. More than a decade ago, she suffered chemical burns by someone who was paid by someone who was once very close to her. Despite the trauma of her experience, she started a foundation intended to offer support and resources to other burn victims. A recent announcement from the Katie Piper foundation is regarding the hot water bottle. The foundation’s Instagram page shared an alarming post highlighting the importance of keeping track of the hot water bottle’s expiration date. As failure to do so can result in severe burns and injury.

The Katie Piper Foundation warning came after someone shared their story on the foundation’s Instagram page.  “With the colder weather now upon us I urge you to please check the dates on your hot water bottles! I didn’t keep an eye on mine and unfortunately ended up In Chelmsford Hospital Intensive Care and Burns Unit for a month due to mine bursting on me.” Explained the user. “I will not fully recover for up to two years and possibly live with scars to my stomach and thighs for the rest of my life. I would hate for this to happen to anyone else. CHECK YOUR DATES!”

Read More: Woman Issues Warning After Husband’s Death Linked To Drinking One Energy Drink A Day

Proper Use of Hot Water Bottles

Following the story, the Katie Piper Foundation released a statement, including some important tips for avoiding injury from a hot water bottle. First and foremost, never use the water bottle if it’s worn or leaking, and always use a cloth or towel barrier between your skin, as both can lead to serious burns. Second, never use boiling water. After all, they were never intended for that purpose in the first place. Third, only use water to heat the bottle; never put it in the oven or microwave. Last, ensure that the bottle is only ever two-thirds full unless otherwise prompted. A couple of models have been designed specifically to be fully filled with water. Furthermore, ensure the air is released before sealing the hot water bottle.

“Every hot water bottle sold in the UK should have a ‘flower wheel’ on the funnel somewhere, which shows the date it was made…” The post explained. “The number in the center of the wheel shows you what year it was made. For example, if it says 18, it was made in 2018.”

There are also 12 segments around the center of the wheel. Usually, the number of these segments that have dots in show you what month it was made. So, if there are dots in six sections, the bottle was made in June.”

Upsides and Downsides

Rubber will eventually start to deteriorate, usually a couple of years after it has been manufactured. In the event that the hot water bottle has expired, it’s more likely to leak. Resulting in the increased rick of burns. However, it’s important to also note that the hot water bottle was designed to be used with hot or warm, but not boiling water.

Although they’re not always the safest option for staying cozy, hot water bottles did, and still can, serve an important function. As previously mentioned, they were originally made of metals that caused severe injuries to countless victims. However, they were great for making a bed warmer, before central heating, and offer soothing relief for tired or achy muscles. As a result, Eduard Penkala created the rubber design in the early 1900s—a welcomed method for more safely and comfortably staying cozy and relaxed.

Katie Piper Foundation Origin Story

The Katie Piper Foundation was established after the founder suffered severe chemical burns. In a bizarre and heartbreaking tale, Katie Piper explained that someone was paid by her ex-boyfriend to throw sulfuric acid at her. “I spotted a young guy in a hoodie crossing the road and coming towards me, with his arms outstretched and a coffee cup clasped between his two hands. He looked like a drug addict or a beggar.” She wrote in her book. “I felt sorry for him. I rested my mobile in the crook of my neck and reached into my bag to give him some money.

As a result, she has undergone numerous corrective surgeries and will likely have to do so for the rest of her life. Katie Piper was only 24 years old at the time of the attack. She has since become a wife and mother, a published author, and the founder of an incredible organization intended to help others who’ve suffered the physical and emotional damages of being burnt. Therefore, the warning comes from experience and should be taken into consideration. Hot water bottles that have expired or have become frail or damaged should be discarded immediately.

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