Babies in the Bath: Safety Tips You Need To Know
January is National Bath Safety Month, and I thought it would be important to share some safety measures with you to make bathing your babies and toddlers a breeze, while also keeping them safe. Some of these bath safety tips may seem like common sense, but they are so important to keep in mind every time you step into the bathroom to bathe your baby or toddler.
Toddler?, you might be thinking. Yes, toddlers too! According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 292 children under the age of 5 died from drowning in a bathtub between 1996 and 1999 alone. Pretty scary, right? But drownings aren’t the only thing to be concerned about. Slips, falls, and burns are also concerns.
So to keep everybody safe, here are some bath safety tips to keep in mind.
Always, ALWAYS Make Sure Your Child Is Attended While In the Bath
When my son Ethan was about 9 months old, I put him in the bath and watched him splash around for a few minutes. I realized his shampoo was gone and so I turned around, walked the four or five steps to the counter, and set it down. By the time I turned back around, he was under water. It happened that fast. A matter of seconds.
But even older children could stand up (my twins do it all the time) and fall, hitting their heads which could make them lose consciousness.
Children can drown in as little as 30 seconds, in as little as an inch of water. NEVER leave your baby unattended in the bathtub. Don’t leave the room for any reason. Nothing is more important than your child’s life.
Check the Temperature of The Bath Water
Bath water that is too hot can easily burn children’s sensitive skin. Make sure to test the bath water using your elbow or the inside of your wrist, both areas are more sensitive than your hands.
Make sure that your children know they cannot touch the handles or the spout the water comes out of. Touching the handles can change the water temperature. And if your child just happens to change the temperature while too close to the spout, it can cause serious burns.
Also, you can invest in a small bath thermometer to ensure your bath water never gets above 100° F. You can find them at most children’s stores (like Toys R Us and Target), and they come in fun shapes and sizes. They look like toys so your child won’t mind having it in the tub.
Too Much Water Is Dangerous
When you take a bath, you probably like to fill the tub as high as the water can go. This is a big no-no when it comes to bathing kids. For babies, the water level should be around 2 inches or so. For toddlers, the water level should never be higher than a child’s waist.
You should also avoid bubble baths, which can irritate the urethra, which can increase the risk of urinary tract infections. There are bubble baths designed for sensitive skin, and I have had no problem with these types of bubbles.
Prevent Slips and Falls
To help prevent your child from slipping in the tub, first and foremost teach them from their first bath to remain on their bums. No standing, jumping, or sliding off the sides of the tub.
Make sure to have a skid-proof mat on the bottom of the tub, which can be very slippery. Also have an absorbent bath mat on the outside of the tub to prevent slipping when getting in and exiting the tub.
What other bath safety tips can you share?
Image via Natalie Hoage