Did you know that most injuries to young children occur in the bathroom? Nearly two-thirds of those injuries occur in the bathtub.
January is National Bath Safety Month and it serves as a reminder for parents to take all necessary precautions during bath time. Ordinary components of practically any bathroom are hazards that warrant childproofing attention. Below are some tips for making your baby’s bath fun, safe and stress-free.
When to Start Giving Baths
Until your baby’s umbilical cord falls out, give them a sponge bath. After that, your baby will be ready for a baby bathtub or safe baby bath seat. When it is time to start taking baths, your child won’t need one every day. Best practice is for babies to have two or three baths per week.
How often to bathe your baby is up to you. Some children find the water stimulating which makes morning baths a great way to start the morning. Other babies feel more relaxed in the bathtub which makes it a calming activity before bed.
Never leave your child alone in the bathtub. Infants and babies need constant supervision around water, even in the bathtub. To avoid leaving your baby alone in the bathtub, gather all of the items you will need before bath time starts. This might include soaps, towels, diapers and a change of clothes. If the doorbell or your phone rings, wrap the baby in a towel and take them with you to answer.
Prevent Slips and Fall
A wet bathtub or tile floor can be extremely slippery. Place a nonslip mat on the bottom of the tub and a non-slip rug or mat on the floor next to the tub. This will keep both the baby and parents safe during bath time. Always dry the tub after a bath and clean any water that spilled out around the tub.
Consider placing padding or a thick towel over the side of the tub. If there are slips or falls, this will keep the baby and parent safe from the hard tub or sharp edges. You can also place a cover on the spout. This helps lessen injury from impact and protects from potential burns.
Bath Water Temperature
Water temperature during bath time should be between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. An infant only needs around two or three inches of warm water for a bath. Once the water has reached the proper level, stick your hand and wrist into the water to check the temperature before placing your child in the water.
Soaps & Shampoos
When looking for the right soap for your baby, pick products that don’t use added perfume or dyes. This will help with potential issues like skin irritation. After picking the right soap, lather it into a washcloth to use during bath time.
When washing a child’s hair, use a small amount of mild, tear-free shampoo. If your baby’s hair seems dirty but you just gave them a bath yesterday, you can use a damp cloth to wet their hair. Some baby soaps can also be used as shampoo so make sure to check your products before use.
Other Bathroom Safety Measures
As children age and become more mobile and independent, be aware of all of the other bathroom hazards for a child. Keep all medications at a safe height with a safety cap. Be sure cosmetics and cleaning materials are not within arm’s reach of your child. Keep all electric appliances such as a hairdryer or razor put away behind a child safety lock.