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12 tips for bath time safety
Of course, we all need to bathe to keep ourselves clean and fresh. Using the bathroom is a major part of our daily routines and we spend much more time in the bathroom than you would imagine. I like to take showers rather than baths but that might be because I’ve just got swanky new glass shower doors fitted in around my shower. However, babies and children love baths! Splashing around is always great fun! So, in honor of National Bath Safety Month, today’s post features 12 bath safety tips and reminders.
Keep your babies/toddlers so fresh and so clean…but remember to do it in a safe way!
1. Never, ever leave your baby unattended in the bathtub, not even for a quick second and always keep baby within an arms length reach. Only put your baby or child in the tub once you are 100% ready with all the supplies you need for bath time. It’s a good idea to set our a clean diaper, clean clothes, lotion ahead of time and have the towel and anything else you may need right after the bath, ready in the bathroom. Children can drown in less than 2 inches of water, so again come prepared and never leave a child under the age of 6 in the bathtub alone. If you must leave, then the rule to follow is: your little one comes too, so scoop them out of the tub and into a towel and take them with you.
2. It’s advisable to use a baby bath tub until your baby can sit up without any support or assistance – usually for around the first six months. While in the tub, keep at least one hand on your baby.
3. Remember, babies cool down super fast. Make sure the temperature in the bathroom is warm, or around 75 degrees F (turn up the heat if necessary) before bath time so that your baby is comfortable once the bath is over.
4. Set your water heater between 100 – 125 degrees F to prevent burns. Did you know it only takes three seconds for a child to get third-degree burns from water that is 140 degrees F, which apparently is the default setting on many hot water heaters? Crazy but so scary. If you know for a fact your water heater is old and could possibly be faulty, it may not be wise to trust the temperature settings, instead looking into websites similar to waterheaterreviewssite.com so you can look around to invest in a newer and more efficient water heater could improve the safety of your child while in the tub, and save you some money along the way!
5. Keep in mind that babies and toddlers like cooler bath water temperatures than adults and older kids usually do. So make sure the water is warm but not too hot. You can use a bath water thermometer to check the temperature, which should generally be between 90 to 100 degrees F. You can also test with your wrist to make sure it’s not too hot.
6. Make sure your bathroom itself is safe.
- Keep electric appliances such as hair dryers, flat irons, curling irons, electric toothbrushes away from the tub and sink.
- Also keep items like medications, makeup, razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers and files stored in drawers and closets that are inaccessible/locked for baby.
- Use cabinet locks to lock away cleaning products, bleach and anything else harmful.
- Install a toilet lock too.
- In the bathtub, you can use rubber mats to provide a non-slip surface since it can get pretty slippery.
- Also protect your little one’s head and cover the bathtub faucet.
7. Keep the bathroom door closed (and locked if possible) at all times while you’re not inside it together. Babies should not be taught to think it’s ok to play in the bathroom when they are not taking a bath in the bathtub.
8. Personally, I advise against using a bath ring or seat. It can easily tip over. Once you feel baby has mastered sitting up on her own, I think it’s best for you to put baby in the tub itself, keeping a hand on her or near her at all times – but again, you cannot leave her unattended, not even for a minute. The bath seat and rings give you way too much of a false sense of security and there have been way too many deaths, injuries while using it.
9. Never ever encourage baby/toddler to stand in the tub. It’s way too dangerous and there is no reason for that kind of nonsense in a slippery bathtub.
10. Never ever encourage baby/toddler to touch the bathtub faucet handles. There will come a point, when he will be strong enough to turn the faucet and think it’s so much fun. It’s a good idea to place your child at the opposite end of the tub away from the faucet or with his back to the faucet to decrease the chances of harm and motivation to touch the handles, which can lead to some serious harm. There is also a possibility that if your child messes with the faucet that some damage may occur to the plumbing system, and this could cause a leak or any other sort of problem. If this happens, you should probably start looking for a plumber as soon as possible so bathtime can happily be restored to your child’s life. It is important that you implement the necessary rules to ensure that everyone and everything remains safe during their wash.
11. Good old plain H2O is fine to wash babies with, just focus on the diaper area really, REALLY well. I prefer to use mild, baby washes that are specially designed for babies/toddlers. I don’t use bubble baths on my son and have read that it’s not the best for babies to sit in soapy water for too long. For a product line we at Chai Mommas love for bath time, check out Chai Mommas post on California Baby. Love them!
12. To avoid bacteria and unwanted germs in the bathtub, follow these rules:
- Do not purchase anything that is spongy or wooden for bath time. These materials are an ideal environment for bacteria, germs, mold to thrive – something you don’t want to expose your baby/toddler to.
- Some baths against a wall may have sealant along one or two sides, after a while the sealant may start to split in two or start to fray and if this happens I would recommend you to buy sealants and adhesives online at Tradefix Direct. The reason for this is that your baby may chew or even swallow loose bits of sealant! Make sure to check your baths seals!
- Toys are so fun for baby’s bath time, but you must be careful to keep them clean. Toys that have holes in them, collect water and water means trouble. Squeeze excess water out of all toys and let them air dry after every bath. If you want, you can fill in the holes so water can’t collect. Check out Chai Momma Reena’s post for more bath time toy cleaning and safety.