Last week, I was helping my boy bathe and he decided that he wanted to wash his hair with a shower rather than me washing it by pouring water over his head. As usual, I stood with him and we washed it together and then I picked him up and took him to get dressed. The next day, he wanted to skip the bath and take a shower with me in our stand-up shower so we did that instead. I started to wonder about when he would start wanting to shower on his own and when would be the right age to start allowing him to bathe, shower, etc. on his own.
I was thrilled to see that my Facebook fans had some great advice for me on ages and some safety tips for me (although, seriously, I should know these things because I do safety all day at work) so I have done a little more research into this and I’ve prepared my favorite top five safety tips for Bath Safety Month.
Top Five Bath Safety Tips
1. Secure the bathroom from the inside out.
Use toilet locks and close bathroom doors to prevent children from unsafe situations due to normal childhood curiosity. Children can drown even in small amounts of water and an open bathroom door where children have access to sinks, tubs, and toilets is an invitation to enjoy water play time. If your little one can open doors, be sure to also secure the toilet lid with a lock, like the Mommy’s Helper Toilet Seat Lid-Lok.
2. Stay and Play.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics children ages 4 and under should always have a caregiver present when they are near water. Use bathtime as a time to play and bond with your child. Find a skin-friendly soap and make every night a bubble bath night! Add lots of toys like the Noah’s Ark Foam Tub Toys (pictured above) to the bath and don’t be afraid to get wet. When my boy had surgery on his hand at two years old, I started taking baths with him to help keep the cast out of the water. Hubby has even bathed with him a few times as well. I have just now started to tell him no when he asks me to get in with him (he’s getting too old and noticing differences) but he loves this time with us, especially on the days when there isn’t much quality time in the evening and this is the only time we get to play.
3. Check, and double-check, the temperature.
Of course, you will want to check the temperature while filling the tub, but always check the temperature once again before placing your child in the tub. Go ahead and fill it up as high as you are going to for the bath, then double-check (with a fresh perspective) just to be sure. In my house, bathtime is usually combined with laundry time, dishwashing time, sometimes shower time for Daddy. All of these water sources running at the same time may make baby’s bath water run cold or hot or at least a different temperature than when I started the bath running. If I have been testing the water throughout the filling with my right hand, I always double-check with my left hand for a fresh feel. Once the water is off, and the temperature is safe, then the bathtime fun can begin!
4. Safeguard against bumps and bruises.
Using non-skid floor mats or sticky plastic decals in the floor of the bathtub can help prevent slippery accidents in the tub. Covering faucets and knobs with plastic covers such as the Skip Hop Bath Spout Cover can prevents bumps and bruises from hitting the sharp edges. Bathtime and play time can get a little rowdy in my house from time to time and one of my boy’s favorite activities lately is sliding around the tub. Preventing bumps and bruises in a four year old is difficult, to say the least, but smaller children who are unsteady can slip and slide and can be quite slippery themselves when they are lathered up. One slip, one bonk on the faucet, one second too long to pick baby up out of the water, and a tragedy could happen in an instant. You can find bath safety products for your entire bathroom.
5. Bath Safety is not just for babies and kids.
Consider bath safety for elderly and disabled people in your life as well when you are planning for bath safety. If you have a family member who is elderly, test their water temperature for them and ensure that the water heater is set at a safe temperature. Consider installing grab bars, bath seats, toilet seats, and other safety devices in the bathroom as needed.
Extra Safety Tip for us all
While you are looking at bath safety for your kids and the elderly or disabled in your life, consider your own bathroom and keep yourself safe as well. My bathroom floor is ceramic tile and my husband usually showers before me in the morning. Regardless who showers first, we have to be sure that the floor is dry and that a mat is down in front of the shower to keep each other safe. We also talk to our boy regularly about water safety, bath safety, and about slippery when wet surfaces.
What other safety tips do you practice for bath safety?!!
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