We all know that bubble baths help get the body clean and add a little fun to the routine, but are they always safe? Certain bubble bath products contain unsafe ingredients that can irritate your child’s skin. The safety of bubble baths is established by the selection of ingredients that are safe and suitable for all. I will be going into more detail below about how to choose safe products as well as how to prevent your child from a urinary tract infection (UTI) during bubble baths.
If you are searching for a safe and natural bubble bath for babies and children, then you should be extra cautious when making your selection. Children and babies have very sensitive skin and developing immune systems. Some conventional bubble bath products are too harsh for a young child’s skin and can cause irritation and allergic reactions. Because of this, it is crucial to avoid harsh chemicals commonly found in conventional bubble baths such as sodium laureth sulfate, cocamide EDTA, and synthetic colors or dyes (which may irritate skin or cause allergies). This is true when selecting any bath and body products—not just bubble baths.
Babies often swallow mouthfuls of bubbles during bath time. This means that they may also be swallowing an array of undesirable chemicals as well. When purchasing a safe bubble bath for your baby, look for gentle ingredients such as vegetable glycerin (locks in moisture), organic oatmeal extract (soothes skin and reduces itching), organic aloe vera (soothes skin), organic rosehip oil (aids in tissue and cell regeneration), organic sunflower or jojoba oils (very gentle and non-irritating), and organic chamomile (reduces skin irritation). For very sensitive skin, natural fragrance in the form of essential oils (like lavender, chamomile, or calendula) is usually fine, but unscented is always the safest option.
Bubble bath formulas, as well as strong soaps that contain deodorants or potent scents, can irritate the opening of your baby’s urethra (where urine comes out) if the soap is not rinsed off completely. “This makes it painful to urinate so the child ends up holding the urine and voiding incompletely, which can lead to UTIs,” says Shelly J. King, a pediatric urology nurse practitioner at the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Bubble baths have also been linked to UTIs, so experts recommend avoiding them until your child is at least 3 years old.
According to the American Foundation for Urologic Disease, girls are more likely to get UTIs. In boys, UTIs occur almost exclusively in those younger than six months who are uncircumcised.
To prevent your child from contracting a UTI during bubble baths, make sure to do the following:
Don’t let your child have a bubble bath for more than 20 minutes.
If your child is toilet trained, encourage them to urinate after bathing, This will empty their bladder of any bacteria that could lead to a UTI.
If your child is prone to UTIs or complains that urinating is painful after a bubble bath, avoid bubble baths altogether until puberty or at least until your child can thoroughly rinse her own bottom.
After following bubble bath safety, remember that baths have so many benefits and have been shown to support the circadian rhythm, improve sleep, and even reduce depression!