It’s difficult to talk about safety without statistics, but consider the fact that drowning is still a top cause of death for children under the age of 5 and that two-thirds of infant drowning deaths occur in the bathtub. It is estimated that 26 children die each year from bathtub drownings. Taking the necessary precautions to ensure your child’s safety is easy and can prevent the unimaginable from happening:
- Provide Constant Supervision – You should always be watching your child when they are in the tub and staying within arms reach. Drowning is a quick and silent occurrence – it’s likely that a drowning child will not even splash – and can occur in less than an inch of water. Keep everything you need for your little one’s bath close-by and do not leave the bathroom under any circumstances. If you need to attend to something in a different room, take your child out of the tub and put them in a safe place.
- The Proper Water Temperature – The ideal temperature for a warm and comfortable bath is 95º for your child. It only takes 2 seconds for a baby to get third degree burns from water that is too hot. You can test the temperature of the water by using your wrist or the inside of your elbow – and remember that a baby’s body prefers cooler baths than adults. Also, do not place your child in the tub while the water is still running since a temperature variation can occur making the water too hot or too cold.
- Prevent Slips and Falls – When your child is old enough to stand, the bathtub becomes an immediate slipping hazard. They could fall and hit their hit on the hard surface or the faucet, causing mild to serious head injury. Invest in a non-slip mat or non-slip stickers for the bottom of the tub and a faucet cover to cushion the metal spout. Importantly, teach your child not to stand in the bathtub. If your child is adamant about exiting the tub on their own, invest in a non-slip stool to help them get out on their own without slipping and falling.
- Use the Right Equipment – Bath products for children come in all shapes and sizes, but while some are appropriate for bathing young babies, others can pose serious risk. For instance, infant bath seats create a tip-risk for your child and could potentially trap them underwater. If your baby can’t sit unsupported, consider using a baby tub with a non-slip insert that is tilted to a safe bathing position. Try to stay away from foam cushions since your baby can easily tear off and ingest pieces or possibly choke.
- Learn Infant and Child CPR – Accidents happen, even with the best of intentions. Take the time to properly learn infant and child CPR through a first-aid class. It’s a valuable skill that may make the difference between life and death for your child.
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Bathtub safety seems like a no-brainer, but it is important to follow as many safety measures as possible to ensure that your child’s bath-time is fun and relaxing, not harmful and traumatic.
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