Top safety tips for children’s bath-time safety. Bath-time is fun with bubbles, toys and splashing but there are risks that people bathing young children need to be careful of.
Never leave your child unattended
Small children can drown in just a few centimetres of water if their face becomes submerged. Baby baths and chairs are a good idea for babies as they keep them in a safe position. Don’t let these give you a false sense of security. It is still important not to leave them unsupervised!
Make sure you have everything you need to hand before putting your child in the bath so you don’t need to leave them alone at any time. Also remember not to overfill the bath!
Most are aware of the dangers of water but cleaning products and medicines are also commonly found in bathrooms. Keep bathroom doors locked to prevent children going in on their own and/or use child locks on cupboard doors, drawers and toilets. Oh and remember to put the medicine and cleaning chemicals away in those cupboards and drawers. Ideally medicines and cleaning chemicals would be kept up high, out of the reach of children as well as locked away.
Act on slip hazards
Water gets on the floor and is easily slipped on sending children flying and hitting their heads or injuring themselves in some other way. Clear up any water or other slip hazards on floors as soon as you know about them.
Use non-slip mats in the bath to prevent children from slipping and injuring themselves. Silicone covers can also be used for taps, water spouts and handrails to soften the blow should they be fallen against. There are some cute animal shaped ones on the market but also look for hacks on the internet.
Test the water
A safe bath temperature for babies and children is 37-38°C. Scalds can happen in seconds if bath water is too hot. Check water temperature using a more sensitive part of your body such as your elbow or wrist. Adult fingers can handle higher temperatures so not a good indicator if water is too hot for your young child.
Another water temperature solution is to install thermostatic mixer valves (TMVs). These control the temperature of the water coming from a tap or shower head protecting users from being scolded. A mixer tap lets you adjust the temperature of the water coming out of the tap. A TMV is directly responsible for the temperature of the hot water feed before it comes out the tap, regardless of whether it is a mixer or not. For example, if you want to make sure the temperature coming out of you hot tap is a maximum of 50°C the TMV can be set to this.
Bubbles and washing products
Bubble bath, though fun, can irritate a child’s sensitive skin. For some young children it is better not to have bubbles and opt for kid-friendly body washes and shampoos in an unscented or sensitive-skin variety.
Toys and sponges
Toys and sponges add to bath time fun but these can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Make sure toys are completely drained and dried after each bath. As with any toy there can be choking hazards so select these carefully
Sponges often don’t dry out completely between baths making them bacteria heaven. Wash cloths are a better option.