Kids love bath time. From the squirting toys to the splishing and splashing, every day across the country, children enjoy playing in their bath water. Unfortunately, each year in the United States, over 23,000 children ages 4 and under are injured in bathroom-related accidents. These incidences involve everything from lacerations to head injuries to drowning. In fact, drowning is the No. 1 cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4, and the bathtub comes in second as the place where these drowning accidents occur. Bath safety should be high on your priority list.
1. Never Leave a Child Unattended
Of course, the No. 1 rule of bath safety is never leave a child unattended in or near the bathtub. Constant supervision is essential in keeping your child safe in the bathtub. Always stay within arm's reach and never leave one child to watch another child. It only takes two minutes for a child to drown and a second for a child to slip and fall. Nothing else is as important as your child's safety. If you must move away from the tub, take your child with you.
2. Learn CPR
Consider taking an infant and child CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) course. You should always be prepared in case the unexpected happens.
3. Empty the Tub
Never leave water in the bathtub when the bath is over. Open the drain immediately and ensure that all of the water has emptied.
4. Check the Temperature
A child's skin is much more delicate than an adult's. Therefore, always set your water thermostat to 125 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler. Use a bath thermometer to ensure the water is the right temperature, between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and never put your child in the tub while the water is still running. When the temperature of the water dips, it means bath time is over. Don't let your child play with the faucet taps, either. If she isn't old enough to turn them now, she soon will be and may turn on the hot water.
5. Skip Certain Products
Floatation devices will not keep your child from drowning in the bathtub. Children can drown in as little as one inch of water. Do not use any pool toys as safety devices in the tub. In addition, products such as bath seats, which suction to the tub floor, can become unattached and flip, trapping the child underwater.
6. Be Prepared
Make sure you always have everything you need before placing your child in the bathtub. If you are home alone, bring the phone into the bathroom with you too. No matter what happens, never walk away to get something or answer the phone. If you must leave the bathroom or even walk across the room, take your child with you.
7. Prevent Slips
Slips are one of the top causes of bathtub injury. Prevent them by placing a non-slip mat on the bathtub base every time your child takes a bath. A non-slip bathroom rug is important to keep in front of the tub so little wet feet don't slip after getting out of the bath.
8. Use Safety Devices
Safety locks and devices can help keep your curious child from getting into danger in the bathroom. Install toilet and cabinet locks to keep hands out, and a faucet cover on your bathtub taps to prevent head injuries. Sharp objects, cleaning products, medications, vitamins, electrical appliances, mouthwash, and all other bath products should be locked away at all times.
9. Keep the Bathroom Off-Limits
Always keep your bathroom doors closed and locked. You can use a hook-and-eye lock installed high up, or a safety doorknob to keep younger kids out.
Bonus Bath Tip: Keep Bath Toys Clean
Don't buy porous or wooden toys because they retain moisture, creating the perfect environment for bacteria growth. Rinse all toys after each bath and allow them to air dry. Run the toys through the dishwasher each week.
Following these rules will ensure that bath time remains fun time for you and your child. Stay alert, be prepared, and be safe.