A hot water bottle is a sealed container usually made of rubber or sometimes polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that is filled with hot water and used for easing pain, or for warming a bed or parts of the body. Hot water bottles are available in adult or child sizes.
Hot water bottles can cause burns if placed directly on the skin, when the hot water bottle is not wrapped in a towel or fabric cover. These types of burns are serious and happen gradually. Often the user cannot feel these burns until it is too late. Also, when hot water bottles are not made or used properly, they can burst or leak. If the water is still hot, it can scald the skin causing third degree burns requiring skin grafts. The skin of younger and older people is often thinner, more delicate and therefore vulnerable to more serious burns. Diabetics are prone to burns to their hands and feet while using a hot water bottle. Also, diabetics often have reduced feeling in their limbs and may have a delayed reaction to pain caused by serious burns.