Being present, prepared, and attentive are the most important things you can do to ensure that bath time is safe for your child.
While bath time is fun, it can also be one of the most dangerous times of the day. It’s important to plan ahead and pay attention to protect your child from bad bath time habits that can cause slips, falls, burns or even drowning.
Potential dangers can be avoided by following these 10 golden rules for safe bath times:
- Prepare everything ahead of time so you can stay with your child during bath time.
- Never start a bath with hot water. Your child could get scalded if they put their hand or foot in the water. Swirl the bath water to prevent hot and cold spots.
- Before putting your child in the water, ensure the temperature is between 37°C and 38°C. Use a water thermometer or your wrist or elbow to check the temperature.
- Don’t overfill the tab. Using more than a few inches of water is dangerous for young children. A child can drown in as little as 3 or 4 inches of water if their face gets submerged.
- If your bath does not have a non-slip surface, use a non-slip bathmat.
- Always supervise newborns, toddlers, and children under the age of five in the bathtub. Never delegate supervision to elder children or siblings. They lack the ability to recognise and respond to an emergency.
- Shampoos and soaps can irritate children’s sensitive skin and eyes, especially if they contain a lot of harsh chemicals or potent essential oils. Instead, use nonfragrant, kid-friendly soaps.
- Even if your baby loves the water, leaving them in the water too long can dry out their skin. Keep bath time between five and 10 minutes
- When the bath is over, drain the water.
- Keep the bathroom and laundry doors closed when not in use. This will prevent young children from independently accessing taps or water sources.