Bathing time, especially for babies and young children, is open to the risk of drowning and scalding. It’s essential for parents or caretakers to follow these basic bath time safety tips like- firstly, being the most important one, is never leave your child unsupervised. Don’t leave the bathroom with your baby alone or even with a sibling, even for a second.
To prevent scalding, set your home’s water heater to 120°F or 48.8°C. Run your forearm through the water before placing your child in the tub. Never fill water more than 2-4 inches in infant tubs. Babyproof your bathroom by putting a cushioned cover over the water faucet, keeping the toilet lid closed, and adding a toilet lid lock. Install no-slip strips on the bathroom floor and on the bottom of the tub to avoid accidentally slipping. Keep all electrical appliances, razors, and medicines out of your child’s reach.
Alright, so your baby’s bath time is always a great time to bond with her. Amongst all the splish-splashing, the bubbles, and a lot of cooing and singing, bath time can be so fun, but it can present serious dangers for your baby if you don’t follow basic bath time safety measures.
A 2012 Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report shows that from 2006 to 2010, there were 348 fatalities of children under the age of 5, which occurred due to drowning in a bathtub or other bathing devices. After pools, it’s also seen that the bathtub is the most-rated place where children accidentally drown.
Tip: Remember, if you have a newborn, wait till the umbilical cord falls off before giving your baby a bath in the tub. Till then, give your little one a sponge bath avoiding the stomach area.
Bathing can be so fun. My son loves his bath time every day; he looks forward to it, so much so that he will be the one who’s in a hurry to remove all his clothes and go into the bathroom.
And I can imagine many of your children loving their bath time. But, sometimes, when bath time becomes a routine, we may make the mistake of leaving our child in the bathroom alone or under their sibling’s supervision, even if it’s just to take their bath towel from the next room.
Many things can happen in a split second. To avoid any accidents in the bathroom, parents and caretakers are strongly advised not to leave their babies in the bathroom without adult supervision.
If you have to answer the doorbell or your phone, take your baby along with you, but NEVER leave them in the bathtub alone.
Drowning is silent, and a baby can drown even in 1-2 inches of water. So, if you have to answer the doorbell, wrap your baby in a towel and take her with you.
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The 4 main rules to follow during bath time
- Never leave your infant, toddler, or children under the age of 5 in the bathroom alone without adult supervision. Don’t rely on older children or siblings to watch over the infant while you’re not present in the bathroom. They may not have the skills to understand and react in the right way during an emergency.
- Get everything ready beforehand in the bathroom and at arm’s reach, be it your child’s shampoo, soap bar, or towel.
- Check the water temperature. The temperature should be between 37°C and 38°C before you place your child in the tub. Run your forearm through the water to avoid scalding.
- Empty the bathtub as soon as the bath is over, and place an anti-slip pad on the bottom of the tub.
- Try to ensure your little one doesn’t swallow the bath water. While it’s generally not a cause of concern, there can be rare complications like Pulmonary Edema and water intoxication.
Basic safety tips every parent should follow during infant bath time
1. Adult supervision
I know I’ve mentioned adult supervision multiple times on this page, but what else can I do? Some parents and caretakers take their child’s safety for granted and put them at risk when left alone in the bathroom, even for 5 seconds tops!
When you get in the routine of bathing your baby every day, and maybe one day when she’s 8 months old, old enough to sit and balance her nicely, you might think that answering that phone call or leaving your baby for 2 seconds to grab something from the next room quickly is okay. But what most parents fail to understand is that accidents can happen in a split second.
I have read so many stories and seen so many drowning accidents on the news channels and Instagram reels where moms share how their baby isn’t alive today because of accidental drowning or due to SIDS, and it breaks my heart.
Remember, you always need to be cautious with babies, and taking preventive steps is always a wise decision.
If you have older children or siblings, don’t depend on them to look after your younger ones in the bathroom while you leave the bathroom for a few minutes. They’re not capable of making intelligent decisions in a moment of panic.
If you have older children and know how to bathe themselves, check on them often and not assume that they will call out if they need help, or that you’ll be able to hear them if something goes wrong.
Don’t leave water in the tub when not in use, and it’s also essential to keep everything needed during your baby’s bath time at an arm’s reach.
2. Babyproof the bathroom
Place a non-slip placemat at the bottom of the bathtub and on the bathroom floor to avoid you or your child slipping and falling in the bathroom.
Place a cushioned cover on all faucets to prevent older babies from hitting their heads while getting out. Keep them away from water taps to prevent them from accidentally turning on the hot water on their own.
Place padded spout covers to keep your baby away from any sharp edges. Have a habit of keeping the toilet lid closed, and it’s better to keep the toilet lid locked.
If you use any electrical appliances like trimmers, hairdryers, or razors in the bathroom, then make sure to keep them away from your children’s reach. It’s better to unplug them and store them in a cabinet and then make sure to put a child lock on the cabinet for double assurance.
Store all your medicines in containers with safety caps. Remember that these safety caps, even though they are child-resistant, they’re not child-proof. So store your medications and cosmetics locked in a cabinet and out of your children’s reach.
Keep all your bathroom and laundry doors always locked when not in use. Make sure to lock your bathroom doors from outside so that your child doesn’t accidentally lock themselves inside.
3. Water temperature
Babies and young children have very sensitive skin, so the chances of being scaled easily also increase.
Always make sure that the bathwater is between 37°C and 38°C. If you have very hot water coming in from the tap, run cold water first and mix it with hot water. This will help prevent scalding if your child puts his arm or foot in the bathing water.
First, fill the bathwater 1-2 inches with lukewarm water before placing the baby inside the bathtub. Don’t let the water run when your baby’s inside the bathtub, as running water can suddenly change their temperature, which can result in scalding if the water turns too hot.
Before placing your child in the bathwater, place your forearm, wrist, or elbow in the water. The water should feel comfortable, but if your skin flushes, then the water is probably too hot for the baby.
Teach your child from a young age to always be seated during bath time and never touch the water handles. Children can be curious, and turning the water on and off can be very mesmerizing for them. So, teach them not to touch the taps.
Make sure you drain all the water from the bathtub as soon as the bath is over. So, this removes the possibility of your baby accidentally falling in the bathtub with forgotten water in it.
What’s the best time to bathe your baby?
Anytime during the day is a good time. Pick a time when you’re relaxed and won’t be interrupted.
Avoid bathing your baby when it’s time to feed or straight after feeding her. If bathing relaxes your baby, give them a bath in the evening before putting them to sleep.
Why do they wait for 24 hours to bathe a newborn?
This measure aims to prevent the newborn baby’s skin from bacterial invasion and keep their blood sugar and temperature stable.
How do I wash my newborn for the first time?
Use a washcloth or a baby sponge for bathing your baby. Use products that are specially designed for babies, and after their bath, gently pat them dry.
How often should you wash a newborn’s hair?
It’s not necessary to bathe your baby every day to keep their skin from getting extremely dry. It’s best to wash their hair around twice a week. Gently scrub the scalp to get rid of any excess oil.
Bathing is always a great time for moms and babies to bond and have fun. Even if it’s giving a sponge bath to your newborn or bathing your toddler in the bathtub, always make sure to follow the above safety measures to prevent drowning or being scalded from hot water.
Keep everything you need in the bathroom within your arm’s reach before bath time, and always supervise your little one.
Meanwhile, comment below and tell us your bathing routine every day and does your little one enjoys her bath time?
Have a bubbling bath-time!