Bath time can be hilarious fun for everybody when babies and toddlers are involved – even if it’s a slightly wet and chaotic experience!
However, it’s necessary to keep bath safety for babies and toddlers in mind at all times.
Top tips for bath safety for babies and toddlers
A surprising number of accidents, some serious or even fatal, arise with children and baths.
To avoid these things happening, try to follow the tips below:
- never, under any circumstances, leave babies and toddlers unaccompanied in a bath – even if it is a special baby bath variety. That means not even for a few seconds while you answer a phone call or grab a clean towel from the washing etc.;
- if you have a modern lift-n-twist mixer tap (faucet), make sure you fit a baby/toddler security lock to it to avoid children accidentally scalding themselves. Always leave it pointed to the cold tap side. Traditional individual twist-taps may be slightly safer but even there, the hot inlet should be secured. Watch out too for exposed very hot copper pipes feeding such taps, where those pipes are reachable by toddlers. Cool down hot individual hot water feed taps with a cold-water cloth before letting your children near the bath;
- be firm and demand that toddlers stay sat down in the bath. Walking around on slippery surfaces when wet is an accident waiting to happen;
- fit rubber anti-slip mats to the bath for kids’ bath time – just in case they stand up in that split second you weren’t watching;
- make sure that all soap and shampoo is absolutely gentle and baby-friendly. That’s because there is a very good chance that it’s going to get splashed into eyes and mouths once in the water – particularly if you have two children in the same bath;
- on the same subject, don’t leave soaps and shampoos accessible on bath edges where they can be picked up and ‘swigged’ by way of experiment or squirted into eyes;
- always test the temperature of the water before you fetch your child or children for the bath. Advice varies as to the maximum temperature for a child’s delicate skin (most advocate a max of 37-38C) but it’s certainly much cooler than normal temperatures for an adult. The old elbow test still has a place and thermometers are cheap;
- fill your bath with cold water first then add and mix in the hot. Don’t leave the bath full of hot only with children in and around it. You should also run a little more coldwater in after the hot, in order to cool down the tap head and feeding pipes – where that’s possible;
- do not run electrical appliances anywhere near your bath. Check the plumbing codes for the rules governing the maximum distances between electrical sockets, light switches and baths. If you’re in doubt, get an electrician to move any borderline sockets further away. While they’re at it, ask them to survey the safety and electrical compliance of your bathroom overall.
Some of these tips may sound obvious but thinking about them might help to avoid a disaster.