January is National Bath Safety Month. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, thousands of children are injured or killed in bathroom accidents annually. We wanted to give you some tips on how to keep your bathroom safe.
Water Temperature: It’s a good idea to keep your water heater lowered to about 120 degrees to prevent scalding. I have found that my daughter likes her bath water lukewarm at best so when I give her a bath, I keep the water cooler than I would like for a relax in the tub! There are many tub thermometers available that will let you know if the water is reaching unsafe temperature levels. Using my hand to gauge temperature works well for me.
Electric Items: Keep them away from water! No hair dryers, curling irons, etc near the tub.
Non-Slip Strips and Mats: It’s a good idea to keep these in the tub to help prevent falls. I always help my daughter get in and out the tub too by holding her hand or arm. If you do use a mat, make sure it is secured to the tub floor. Also remind kids to stay on their bottoms in the tub and not stand up.
Watchful Eyes: You’ve heard it before, but I will say it again. Never, ever leave a small child or infant alone in a tub. Even for a second. Bath seats for babies are not substitutes for parents either; don’t rely on them to keep your baby safe. Kids can drown in very little water. Sometimes I will read a magazine by the bath while my daughter plays in the tub. I think she could stay in there for hours!
Slippery Surfaces and Rugs: Take care helping your young kids out of the tub. Bathroom floors are slippery and rugs can slip too. As I mentioned above, I always help my daughter in and out of the tub.
Medications and Cleaning Supplies: Keep ’em locked up and out of reach and sight of the kids.
Toilet Seats: It’s a good idea to keep them closed when you have very young kids in the house. Some parents choose to put locks on them too to help prevent a drowning accident.
Bath Toys: Throw out any with obvious mold and keep the other ones clean and dry. We use a hanging onion basket to store ours so they can drip dry. You can clean bath toys with vinegar or dish soap. The “squirters” or any rubber toy with a hole on the bottom need special attention to prevent yucky mold. One option is to plug the holes with a hot glue gun. At the very least, make sure they are all squirted out before storing them.
Have a Plan: Know the basics of CPR. You can read about it online but it is best to take a class if you can. Make sure a responsible adult is watching your kids in the bathtub and knows it is their responsibility to do so. Know the number for National Poison Control and memorize it (1-800-222-1222-it’s easy!) or keep it handy (I have it in my cell phone).
Most importantly, keep bath time fun and safe!
Do you have any bath tips you would like to share? Let us know how you keep your bathroom safe in the comments!