Bree Schulz, 21, from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales was filling her bottle with boiling water on a cold night in early June, directly from a kettle — which something that the bottle’s manufacturer warns against.
A GoFundMe page, set up by a friend, states that the burns are so bad that Mrs Schulz’s partner is now taking time off work to care for her.
Mrs Shulz told Nine she put the bottle next to her in bed before rolling over to give her husband a cuddle, when it suddenly exploded.
“So my husband got out of bed, and I rolled back into the puddle of water, in the heat of the moment, not really thinking,” she said. “Then I jumped out of bed, and as my feet hit the floor I blacked out completely and collapsed.”
The shock of the pain was so bad she went into a seizure.
“It was excruciatingly painful, like nothing I’d ever felt before,” she added.
According to the GoFundMe page, the couple, who have an eight-month-old baby boy, “need support and a house”.
“They will get to a point where they could lose their house & belongings,” the page reads.
“I am starting this GoFundMe page to relieve some stress off their shoulders while beautiful Bree recovers in a Sydney hospital.”
Mrs Schulz was transferred from Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital to Sydney’s Royal North Shore where she is receiving specialist burns treatment.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says up to 200 Australians are admitted to hospital because of serious burns from hot water bottles every year.
“These burns can be deep and painful and can become infected,” the ACCC website states. “They can require long hospital treatment, including skin grafts, and often result in permanent scarring.”
The ACCC has even released a hot water bottle safety checklist for filling up, which includes the following points.
— Before using a hot water bottle, check it for cracks, splits, brittleness, breaks and other damage.
— Heat the water in a kettle using cold tap water.
— Do not fill the bottle with water from the hot water tap, which can cause the rubber to perish.
— Do not use boiling water. If the water is very hot, add cold water from the tap.
— Hold the hot water bottle upright, over the sink and away from your body when filling it
Pour water into the bottle slowly until it is two-thirds full.
— Remove excess air from the bottle before closing it. To do this, lower the bottle slowly towards a lying position on a flat surface. When you see water at the opening, put in the stopper and tighten it.