It's Bath Safety Month!

by Tara Saltzburg January 01, 2017

Hey There,

January is National Bath Safety Month!

Is there anything cuter than a toddler awkwardly balancing on one leg, lifting her other in an attempt to catapult herself over the tub wall? They're like tiny giraffes learning to stand for the first time.

Ahhh, I love bath time! I love the bubbles, the toys, the water-repelling hats!

 (This thing is freaking ridiculous. And also sort of genius. We need one.)

Shower cap for babies

Anyway, the real reason we're here...

I was surprised to learn some interesting facts when I looked a little deeper into bathroom hazards and safety.

Drowning happens. Fast.

According to "Today," an estimated 87 children die each year from drownings, and 2/3 of those deaths occur in the bathtub. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), almost as many children suffer brain damage as a result of non-fatal drownings. Although the statistics seem relatively small, it's surprising when you think about how avoidable these tragedies are.

As parents, we have a million things to do and most of us would probably admit to walking out of the bathroom for "just a second" while our little one is bathing. But these quick trips, no matter how brief, could be all it takes for a possible tragedy. 

Drowning can happen in minutes and it can happen in as little as 1-2 inches of water! 

The Drowning Prevention Foundation recommends these important tips:

  • Never rely on bath tub rings or seats to keep baby safe (they are susceptible to tipping over)
  • Only fill the tub enough to cover the infant's legs
  • Never rely on a sibling to supervise an infant

Bathing Alone

So when can children bathe alone? It's widely debated -- some experts say 4 years old and others say 6. Unfortunately, there is no official recommendation and the ability to handle bathing alone varies between kids, so parents should err on the side of caution.  

Water Safety is Universal

Aside from bathtubs, toilets can be hazardous since children can quickly fall in headfirst. “Water safety is universal, whether it’s the bathtub, a pail of water, the toilet bowl or an inflatable baby pool,” according to Dr. Ari Brown, an Austin, Texas, pediatrician and author of the “Baby 411” books series. It's best to always keep lids down; you could also use a toilet seat lid lock. 

Toddlers "Toddle"

Because toddlers, well "toddle", they can easily slip and fall in the bathtub. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends these bath safety tips to prevent injury:

  • Use a slip-resistant mat in the tub, and make sure the throw rug beside the tub does not slip.
  • Consider installing a bar for the child to grip to prevent falls. We like this assist bar because it's easy to install and remove:

Assist bar

  • Use a rubber cover for the faucet. We love this whale from Target:

Rubber whale

  • Avoid bath toys with hard edges that could be hazardous if the child falls on them.
  • Set the home’s water heater to no more than 120 degrees and always test the bath water temperature to prevent burns.

Simple enough. Stay safe. 

Xo, Tara