Getting kids into the bath can be enough of a challenge without having to worry about safety, too. Unfortunately, the bathroom can be one of the most dangerous places in your home for young children.
Preventing Needless Tragedy
According to Today, almost 90 children are lost every year in bathtub drownings. It can happen terrifyingly fast, and in as little as two inches of water. It’s the second leading cause of accidental fatalities in children between the ages of one and fourteen.
“A child can drown in a matter of minutes,” said Consumer Product Safety Commission spokeswoman Ellyn Pollack. “It happens quickly and silently. A baby can slip under the water without crying or screaming or splashing around.”
The Most Important Rule
The first and most important safety rule is to never leave your baby or toddler alone in the bathroom. The recommended age for children to safely take care of themselves in the tub or on the potty depends on their individual development. That’s a conversation to have with your pediatrician.
Don’t leave older kids to watch the younger ones at bath time, either, unless you are completely confident that they will handle it well. Tweens might get distracted or panic in an emergency. Teens could decide something else–like the latest viral TikTok video–is more important than watching their younger sibling.
Baby-proofing your bathroom should begin with securing the toilet lid so that curious toddlers aren’t able to explore. Invest in an appropriately sized baby bath or bath seat. Always empty the tub or basin immediately after using it.
Drowning isn’t the only concern in the bathroom. Spills can lead to slips. And slips in a small room filled with hard tile, glass, and plumbing fixtures can be fatal. Make sure that you have non-slip rugs and mats in place. Clean up spilled water immediately. You can put a washcloth over the tub faucet as a temporary baby-proofing measure, too.
Hot water can cause burns on sensitive skin as well as dangerous overheating. Consider lowering the default setting on your water heater. Always test the water first.
Most bathrooms are filled with things to tempt kids, such as shiny objects like razors, brightly colored cleaning products, and bath soaps that smell like delicious treats. Exercise caution as you store these items. Place them well out of reach of children. Install a baby lock on any cabinets to ensure that hazardous chemicals don’t find their way into little hands.