Bathrooms are fun places for young children, they love splashing around in the bath and it's a joy to give them a bath. However, unfortunately the bathroom is also a location where young children can have a lot of accidents if they're not looked after properly. Over 23,000 children ages 4 and under are injured in the United States each year, and there's also the shocking fact that they can drown in as little as 1 inch of water. It shouldn't happen, because the steps you have to take to ensure your child's safety are nothing complicated, and most of it comes down to common sense.
The following tips will ensure your child can continue to enjoy his or her bathtime and not suffer any nasty accidents.
Always Stay With Your Child
First and foremost, and easily the most important tip you'll read on this page, is to NEVER leave your child unattended in the bathroom. Small children can drown in as little as one inch of water, so it’s imperative that you always stay with them. You can't use the excuse that your phone is ringing or there’s someone at the door, those things will never be as important as your child’s safety and life. If you absolutely must leave the bathroom then take your child with you.
Remove Sharp Objects
Scissors, razors and a whole host of objects will look enticing to a child, so don’t have them on show and keep them well out of reach. You should also consider bathroom fittings that don’t have sharp corners that a child could cut themselves on.
Keep all medicines and cleaning products out of reach.
Medicines should be in a cabinet, such as a mirror cabinet, that is high up on the wall out of the way. If you're going to keep cleaning products in a cabinet on the floor, such as a vanity cabinet under your sink, it is absolutely essential that you fit the cupboard door with a child lock so it can't be opened by your kids.
Tips on Video
Keep all appliances out of the way.
The same as above applies to appliances. You wouldn’t want your child getting hold of a hair dryer or hair straighteners, so don't leave them lying around. It’s an easy thing to forget to pick them up after you, but when you've got kids to think about it you'll quickly adopt the right mindset anyway and it will become a habit.
Also, while this should surely be common sense, don't leave place any plugged in items close to water.
Control water temperature
Make sure your thermostat and water heats don't go above a certain temperature, ideally 48 degrees C. For showers you can buy shower valves that have safety features where the temperature won't go above a certain amount (look for thermostatic showers), but if you have a bog standard shower make sure you check the temperature is ok before you place your child under it. Remember that a child’s skin is far more delicate than adults, so just because it’s a temperature you might be comfortable with it doesn’t mean a child will be. It only takes 3 seconds for a child's skin to burn, so it's imperative that there is no danger of scalding from the water.
When running a bath you should always fill it with cold water before adding hot. Don't put your kid in the bath while it's running, wait until you've filled it and checked the temperature yourself (purchase a thermometer to properly check it) before they get in. Also, don't let them play with the taps as when they get old enough to be able to turn the taps they may leave the hot water tap running.
Keep The Toilet Seat Closed
This is so a toddler doesn't accidentally fall into the toilet, and in fact the best thing you can do is to buy a special child lock so your child won't be able to budge the seat no matter how hard they try.
When your child is training to use the toilet you can buy booster seats that will reduce the size of the hole so they can't slip in, and there are seats such as the Laufen Florakids toilet seat that has handles which will improve the feeling of safety.
The most common accident in the bathroom, amongst any age, is slipping and falling. With reduced co-ordination and balance kids are more prone to doing this and as such you need to make sure that the risk of falling in your bathroom is minimal.
Non-slip baths are available, but the best thing you can do is to teach your kid that standing up in the bath is a no-no. You can place a non-slip bath mat on the base of the bath too, and also get a non-slip mat or rug for placing on the bathroom floor directly next to the bath or shower.
Lock The Bathroom Door
You need to teach your child that the bathroom is a no-go area when you're not in there with them, but kids being kids you'll know they'll be curious or find it funny to go in when you're not there. So, shut the bathroom door after you're finished and invest in a child lock that will lock the door from the outside.
Julie on February 06, 2013:
I just had to comment on your hub. Having just had my son 2 months ago, the picture you included looks a lot like my son during his bath time. :) These are tips that any mom (or dad) can definitely use.
Thomas Mulrooney (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on May 24, 2012:
I'm glad it can be of some use, especially for such an important topic.
Janhorner on May 23, 2012:
Your article gives some sound advice where bathing infants is concerned. It is so important to stay with youngsters when water is involved. You have outlined each possible incident well and for young, new parents this will help them keep the babe safe.
Very worthwhile article.