AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Inside the Burn and Frostbite Center at the University of Colorado hospital, Dr. Arek Wiktor is prepared for anything.

From explosions to lightning strikes to severe frostbite, the unit sees its fair share of bizarre injuries. But Layne Wilson’s burn happened in a place you likely frequent regularly: the shower.

“I had my first seizure in 13 years,” she said. “They told me that I hit the water all the way to the hot when I fell, and they said I was really lucky that I was only burned the extent I was.”

Wilson was unconscious for less than a minute before her husband found her suffering second- and third-degree burns to her back and arms.

“It’s kind of crazy spending 18 days in the hospital after a 30-second accident,” she said.

How to protect yourself from shower burns

Wiktor said it’s more common than you might think.

“About half of our patients are because of a flame or an explosion, and the next most common are scald burns,” he said. 

Scald burns involve touching a hot liquid, and they happen regularly in the bathroom and kitchen, according to Wiktor. 

“People get into trouble when they take a shower, if they have an accident and fall or hit their head or have a seizure, they can actually get burned with scalding hot water,” Wiktor said. “A lot of folks have very high temperatures on their water heaters, and it’s recommended that you keep your water heater temperature around 120 degrees.”

Wilson said her water heater was likely turned up too high. 

“It’s not something that people think of, but it’s something that people need to realize,” she said.