More than 43,000 children each year receive medical care for accidents that happen in the bathtub or shower.
Follow these suggestions to keep your child safe.
Falls are the most common injury among children in bathrooms. They are most likely to hurt their faces, and “lacerations” — cuts — are the most common type of injury.
It’s easy to fall in a tub or shower. The water makes the surface slippery, and soap or bubble bath adds to the slickness of the tub or shower floor. Water can easily end up on the bathroom floor as well, and there are plenty of sharp corners in the typical bathroom. If your bathtub is slippery, you may want to use a no-slip mat in the bathtub. Cotton bathmats outside the bathtub help minimize puddles around the bathtub.
Make a no running rule for bath time and be sure to supervise children. For babies and toddlers, consider covering the faucet and spout of the bathtub with a rubber bathtub spout cover.
It’s hard to imagine, but nearly 100 children drown in bathtubs each year. Most of the children are under two, but children up to five years old may be at risk.
Drowning can happen so quickly that a child may be in danger during the seconds it takes you to run to their room for a diaper.
Supervision is the best solution. Make sure that you have everything you need for your child’s bath before you add water to the tub. Don’t fill the tub higher than your child’s belly button.
Leave your phone elsewhere so you don’t get distracted. If you need to leave the bathroom during your child’s bath, take the child with you. Don’t leave an older child to supervise a younger sibling.
Bubble bath, bath bombs, and bath toys can make the whole bathtime process more fun. But they can also pose some dangers.
Some bath products can irritate sensitive skin. Choose products intended for children and pay attention to the recommended quantities.
Think twice about sponges, too. Sponges can be perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. They tend to be moist, warm, and dark — just what bacteria love best. A wide range of harmful bacteria have been observed on loofahs, sponges, and similar bath tools.
In every case, supervising children is the most important element for keeping them safe at bath time. Ask your pediatrician if you are not sure whether your child is ready to bathe alone.