Bath Safety Tips for Children. What Parents Should Know?

Most parents are quick to protect their babies in every way possible. There are safety hazards all around for a young baby or even a toddler, and bath time is no exception.

Key takeaways:
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    The biggest risks associated with bath time are scald injuries and drowning.
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    Always check the water temperature before your child gets in the tub, and never leave them unattended.
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    Babies and toddlers only need to stay in the bath for about 10 to 15 minutes.
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    Keep your child comfortable by ensuring they don’t get too cold and keeping noises to a minimum while they bathe.

Parents need to be aware of any safety hazards that bath time can bring and take the necessary safety steps to avoid these hazards.

Essential safety tips for bath time

There are two main risks to your child during bath time: scalding and drowning. These are the two most common reasons children and babies get injured during bath time.

Scalding occurs when the bathwater is too hot, which burns the skin. Fill the bathtub first, and always check the temperature with your hand before putting your baby in. The recommended temperature for a baby’s bath is 98.6 degrees F or 37 degrees C.

Some tips to avoid scalds include:

  • Keep your child away from the bathtub until the temperature is safe.
  • Run the cold water first, and then add hot water.
  • Always check the water before putting your baby in.
  • Try using a bathtub thermometer to monitor the temperature.
  • Consider adjusting your water heater to ensure that the maximum temperature does not exceed 120 degrees F or 48 degrees C.
  • Never leave your child unattended in the bath, and make sure they don’t play with the faucet while in the tub.

Drowning is another bath time safety risk for babies and children. The best way to prevent a drowning injury is to always remain with your child while they are bathing. Young children and babies are especially prone to drowning since they are top-heavy, and it only takes a few inches of water to drown.

Some tips to prevent drowning include:

  • Always remain with your child while they are bathing.
  • Don’t overfill the tub. The belly button height is enough water for children.
  • Even if your baby is in a bath seat, you should supervise them at all times.
  • Make sure your bathroom doors are kept shut when not in use so your child doesn’t wander into the room and start the water themselves.
  • Drain the water from the tub immediately when you get them out so standing water isn’t left behind for them to get into later.

How long should a child stay in the bath?

The time your child should stay in the bath varies based on age. Children aged 12 months and younger only need to be bathed for about 5 to 10 minutes. If younger babies are kept in the bath too long, it can dry out their skin, and they can get too cold. Even as kids get older, taking them out of the bath after 10 to 15 minutes is recommended to help avoid dry skin.

Remember
Never leave a child unattended in the bathtub until they are six years old.

What bath toys are considered safe?

Bath toys are fun for babies and toddlers, but many parents don’t realize they can be a breeding ground for mold and other bacteria. Mold exposure can make babies and children sick, especially when it repeatedly occurs over time. A bath toy with a hole in it, causing it to hold water is the most likely to grow mold.

The good news is that bath time is usually stimulating and fun for a baby, so toys aren’t even necessary. You can also give your baby a cup to play with. They will love to scoop water and pour it back into the tub. If you want to get bath toys for your child, try ones that do not have holes, so they don’t hold water in the middle.

How to keep a baby comfortable during bath time

Some babies don’t like bath time. Try some of the following tips to help make bath time more enjoyable for them.

Keep them warm by making sure the water doesn’t get too cold and keeping the room temperature warm.

Dry them quickly when you get them out of the bath.

If they’re sitting in a bathtub seat, you can put a washcloth down first so that it’s softer for them to sit on.

Remember that noises are sometimes louder in the bathroom because of echoing. Speak softly and be aware of other loud sounds, such as the faucet running.

Bring all the supplies you need before starting bath time so you can get it done quickly if your baby is upset.

Don’t worry about bathing your baby daily if they don’t like bath time. It is only recommended that babies bathe two to three times per week.

Every baby is a little different. Some will love bath time, while others may not like it at all. Be patient with your little one if they don’t like going in the bath, and give them time to adjust.

Always pay attention when your baby is in the bath

Never take your eyes off your baby when they’re in the water. Don’t check your phone during your child’s bath time, and never leave the room. Bring them with you if you have to leave the room to get something. You can also get CPR certified to ensure you are extra prepared in case your baby gets some water-related injury.

Scalding and drowning are the top injuries a baby can suffer during bath time. Take precautions such as monitoring the water temperature, and never leaving your infant or toddler alone in the bath.


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