The 20-year-old’s mother Marie Machera has called for hot water bottles to be banned after the “horrific” incident that left her son in hospital for a week.
He was at his home in Coburg playing Playstation with the hot water bottle on his lap when it spontaneously ruptured and the boiling water spilled on to his legs and hands.
“His body went into shock and he was trembling … it was a horrific sight to see, I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone,” Ms Macheras told 9News.
“He said, ‘mum I’m on fire’ – so he was burning,” she said.
The apprentice carpenter suffered serious burns and stripped down before paramedics arrived and gave him a shot of morphine.
The 20-year-old spent a week in the burns unit at the Alfred Hospital, suffering second and third-degree burns on his thighs and hands.
He had to go undergo painful surgery for a skin graft.
Doctor Dane Holden said the dangers presented by hot water bottles were avoidable.
“It’s extremely concerning for us because these injuries are entirely preventable,” Dr Holden said.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) said all hot water bottles made from PVC must have warning labels.
Hot tap water should be used to fill a hot water bottle and it should not be filled more than two-thirds.
A fitted cover is also encouraged. The bottle can also be wrapped to avoid direct contact with skin.
The advice also states a hot water bottle should never be on the body for more than 20 minutes.
“Looking at a hot water bottle from the outside it might seem like its in really good condition … but the hot water bottle can deteriorate the plastic and seals on the inside and then they can spontaneously rupture,” Dr Holden said.
“We are just complacent – there’s not enough information about the damage it can cause.
There is a current recall on some hot water bottles sold at Spotlight, with fears the stopper could leak or seams could split.