Hot water bottles were my life, sore stomach, better stick on the hot water bottle, sore muscles, again the hot water bottle was filled. It was by my sides most night keeping me warm and keeping the cramps at bay. I would have sworn by hot water bottles, that they warmed you up whilst having magical healing and comfort powers. That was unfortunately until a freak accident when I was around 15/16.
Stomach cramps are the worst and sitting doing GCSE Geography homework wasn’t much better, so I had boiled the kettle and filled up my favourite hot water bottle (only a year old) with its massive furry cover and had brought it up to the study to see if it would ease the discomfort. After finishing my work, I stood up gripping the hot water bottle and set my finished homework down only to feel a strange sensation. Thinking I had peed myself I glanced down only to see water pouring out of my hot water bottle all over my crotch and down my right leg.
Screaming down for my parents and chucking the jar across the room I was lifted and dumped into the bath were cold water poured from the tap, and mum fetched two nurses who luckily, we knew from our small village. I sat in the freezing bath in my short pj’s in shock. Soon a towel was around my shivering shoulders and I was being lifted out of the bath and downstairs were cream was applied to my upper thigh and wrapped with cling film. The shock had worn off and I felt like throwing up, my leg was on fire and I was in a lot of pain. I was bundled into the back of the car in my dressing gown and sped over to the A+E department of the Ulster Hospital with 1st degree burns where once into a bed they cut off my pj’s and the right side of my knickers and provided me with some morphine.
My leg was smothered with more cream and wrapped up in swabs and bandages and I was put on crutches for 2 months because of the positioning of the burn. 2 says later I was back in to get it re-bandaged with the doctor draining the numerous number of blisters that had formed. Back onto crutches I had to visit my GP’s Nurse every other day to get the bandages and gauzes changed. Halfway through this process I took a nasty infection and had to be put on antibiotics and sent home from school.
This was all due to a one year old hot water bottle completely splitting down the middle. I took two days of school, and as a result have been petrified of hot water bottles ever since.
That was when I discovered Wheat Jars. Similar to hot water bottles without the fear of the boiling water, and much longer lasting. Coming in all shapes and sizes, different scents and even now for different parts of the body! After purchasing my first wheat jar I have never looked back.
They are so simple and easy to use yet retain the heat for so much longer than my hot water bottle did. Simply place in the microwave (some require you to take the cover off) and heat up for about 2-3 minutes and that’s it! It really is that easy! Some are filled with little beats or little grains of wheat so no need to worry if they tear, if anything it might be a bit messy but won’t result in any injuries!
With us coming into the colder months, I always like to remind people how careful to be with hot water bottles, and to recommend wheat jars more so than anything especially for young children. Nearly 10 years later and I still have the scars across my crotch and at the top of my right leg, they don’t hurt nor am I worried about them being seen but it’s a reminder of how easy a product can become dangerous. We wrote in to the company who made them and received no reply as well as the medicare were it was bought. We also wrote to good morning television and BBC again with no reply.
That is my story and hopefully it brings a little light to the dangers of hot water bottles.
Have you ever had a similar incident?