January is Bath Safety Month

| January 11, 2013 | 31 Comments

Baby in bathtubJanuary is Bath Safety Month, and even if you think that your kids are too old to worry about drowning in the bath tub, there are some things that you may need to know. Most bathroom injuries have to do with slipping and falling, not drowning. No matter how old you (or your kids) are, here are some pointers to keep in mind when it comes to bathtub safety.

  • Never, never leave your baby or toddler unattended in the tub. A young child can drown in the time it takes you to run and answer the phone or even grab a towel. Assemble all of the things you need for your child’s bath (toys, shampoo, soap, washcloth, towel) and if you need to leave the room even for a minute, scoop your baby up and take her with you. Don’t depend on a baby bath ring to keep your child safe; it’s not worth the risk.
  • Turn down your hot water heater. Water over 120 degrees Fahrenheit can scald in just a few seconds. Either turn down the water heater or install a special valve that shuts off the water if it gets above a certain temperature. This is particularly important once your kids start showering on their own; they can easily hit the dial while soaping up and accidentally knock it onto a hotter setting.
  • Check the water temperature before putting baby in. It’s best to check the water with your wrist or forearm instead of just your hands, which are usually more tolerant to heat than the average baby’s skin.
  • Keep your razors up and out of the way. Curious little fingers can be sliced if the grab one of Mommy’s pretty razors off of the ledge. Before you bathe your child, make sure that your razor did not fall on the floor of the tub and that it’s on a high shelf or out of the area entirely.
  • Watch your child to be sure he doesn’t dump the shampoo or bubble bath. Too much soap can make it very slippery. If he does knock it over, take him out and be sure to rinse the tub well before anyone else uses it.
  • Make your small child sit while taking a bath. Standing up in a slippery tub can lead to falls and injuries. Put down textured decals on the inside of the tub to add some friction for bathers and showerers alike.
  • Have a towel or bathmat out to step on. Stepping onto linoleum or tile with wet, soapy feet can lead to a nasty fall. Teach kids to dry off before walking off the mat and onto the tile to avoid injuries.
  • Be sure to empty the tub after each use. That, along with keeping the toilet lid closed, can eliminate the chance that your little one will wander back into bathroom and drown.
  • Discourage older kids from locking the bathroom door for as long as you can. At least if they slip and fall, you can get in quickly. Since kids in their pre-teens and beyond probably will resist leaving the door unlocked, consider keeping a key or a toothpick to pop the doorknob open in the hall closet or in another place nearby.

With the water, slippery soap and hard porcelain appliances, the bathroom can be one of the more dangerous rooms in the house. With a little bit of forethought and common sense, however, your child can enjoy safe baths and showers. Have you thought of any bathtub safety tips that I have missed?

Comments (31)

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  1. My 10 year old daughter just had a scare in the bathroom. She was rinsing her hair in the tub, laying down like kids do, with the drain open. Her hair got caught in the drain and she had to rip some hair out to get loose. She’s 10 years old and the last thing I thought was that I needed to babysit her in the bathroom. It scared the crap out of both of us, and proved that your kids are never too old to be watched, or at least be close by, in the tub!

  2. Arra Odeza says:

    im not aware that there is a month for bath safety 🙂 thanks for this post

  3. Julie Wood says:

    The best tip is to never ever leave your baby in the tub alone, not even for a second! They can drown that fast! Thanks for these important tips!

  4. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    Thes are great tips for bathroom/bath safety. They are good for older adults too. I didn’t know that January was Bath Safety month.

  5. denise smith says:

    my kids are older now but the best is never leave them alone in the tube

  6. Jane Ritz says:

    I have always been protective when kids are in the tub. It only takes seconds and you can loose a child. That’s one time a phone, doorbell or anything else doesn’t matter. Babies First!

  7. Gloria Walshver says:

    Every month should be bath safety. Never leave kids or babies unattended.

  8. Rosie says:

    There are so many young moms who don’t realize the extent of how dangerous it is to leave a baby, toddler (or even older as one above noted), even for a minute On top of it, if anything happens, the mom is typically arrested and charged with a horrible crime. It can be very hard to try to watch out for your toddler who is running while you have the baby in the water, but once a mom truly realizes how dangerous it is, then she can make sure the one not to do is to turn away for a few seconds.

  9. Tina Seagraves says:

    As a Mom your main goal is to keep them safe !

  10. Megan says:

    And don’t forget to be careful yourself – I have known people of all ages, including some that are very fit and healthy, to be injured in falls in the shower – as you point out, it’s slippery!

  11. Mary Dailey says:

    You can never be tempted to leave the room, even for what you think will be a few seconds to answer the phone, the door, whatever. It only takes seconds for a baby to drown, even if you think they are sitting up well on their own. It’s not worth taking the chance.

  12. Wendy T says:

    This stuff is for real. People can think it won’t happen to them. It will and it’s such a shame.

  13. rebeka deleon says:

    my child is 4 and i still do not leave him unattended. i may not sit right next to the bath but i watch tv where i can see him at the same time. until they can take a shower on their own, i will make sure i can hear and see them.

  14. juli guthrie says:

    This is so important! A girl I went to school with left her baby in the tub while she was checking her facebook.. Def never leave them in the tub!

  15. Susan Baldwin says:

    I’m a FIRM advocate of tub safety,lost a good friend to a bathtub fall 🙁

  16. Jen says:

    My kids are to old for me to dote over them, lol. They would just get annoyed!

  17. Kathy Smith says:

    Thanks for the tips on bath safety for little ones. Everyone with small children need to read this just for a refresher because this post is important for all parents. Thanks

  18. Dianna Thomas says:

    These type are reminders are great–we all came be refreshed on this–anyone not just babies can get hurt or worse–thanks

  19. misty farmer says:

    Awesome tips! Thanks a bunch!

  20. heather says:

    this is so important for new parents thanks for posting

  21. RonLeyba says:

    Wow, bath safety month. It’s my first time to hear about it and thanks for your blog. Great tips nonetheless. Useful indeed, especially for new parents.

  22. Rama says:

    Great Tips will pass along to my friend who is new to parenting 😉

  23. never , ever leave kids alone in the bath

  24. Eileen says:

    Yes, bath safety is so important, not just for lil’ ones but for elders too…well, ANYONE can have an accident or injury in the bathroom where a fall or slip can be critical or fatal.

    One thing that really gets me is now that we have a baby in the house again, AND teenagers, you should also remember to put away ALL electrical hair tools, razors, etc. My 13 year old just got a flat iron and although it does have an auto shut off, she often leaves it out and plugged in. It scares me how easy a lil’ one can pull this into a sink or tub full of water or even an older kid or adult can do so. We know bath safety is all about prepping and having everything you need ready and at hand and attending to them every second till you leave the room, BUT safety in the bathroom itself is so important because of the water element…slipping, electrocution, drowning (tub or toilet), cleaning products you might forget you left out, sharp instruments out like nail files or shavers, etc. Thanks for posting this, it’s so nice to have this to print out for my kids. Taped to the mirror for a while, it will sink in more if they have it to read over and over as a reminder.

  25. Mitzi says:

    This such great infornmation. I never knew we had a month for this 🙂

  26. ashima says:

    thnks for this post 🙂

  27. LisaG says:

    Being there for my kids, my priority.

  28. Sunnymay says:

    I think bathrooms are just as dangerous as kitchens for kids and adults to slip and fall. Never leaving a very yound child alone in the bathroom is a good idea. My 8 month old grandson uses the bathtub to lean on. His reach is getting longer, so the wastebasket is either in the tub or on the back of the toilet. I keep that door closed because it’s the first place he crawls to.

  29. Jeanette E. says:

    I know the faucet cover is very important because many head injuries occur from the spout!

  30. cole mckinnon says:

    My daughter is 38 now, but when she was small, around 9 years old, her long red hair also got caught in the drain. We had to cut it out. It is an awful memory for her and for her father and Me.

  31. Jimmy Gould says:

    Since there are safety aspects to this, I thought you might be interested — there’s a device that attaches to a bar of soap — very simple and unobtrusive, but it acts as a platform / handle, it eliminates goo being formed from wet soap, there’s no soap goo or dripping liquid soap on the counter, and the soap bar lasts about 20-25% longer. Add that to the extra expense on a per-wash basis using liquid soap, and bars might look more interesting. It’s not available for sale yet, but it will be a Kickstarter campaign within a couple of months. Let me know if you’re curious and I’ll get you info about it.

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