Bath Tub Safety
Whether your child can't wait to splash in the tub or views bath time as cruel and unusual punishment, you always need to keep safety in mind when it comes to bathing. Below is a list of useful tips that can help your child stay safe in the bath.
- How hot is your water? Water temperature of the bathtub or faucet should never exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water is too hot you can turn down the water heater setting; employ a plumber to adjust the setting, or call your landlord. If there is not a degree setting on your water heater, you can easily find out the water temperature by checking at the faucet tap closest to the heater. Hold a cooking or candy thermometer under the water stream to check the temperature.
- When using the bathtub: Turn on the cold water first and then add hot water. When the tub is almost filled, turn off the hot water. Turn the cold water off last. Do not put your child in the bathtub while the water is running.
- Infants can not handle water above 100 degrees, most modern bathing kits for infants and young children include thermometers to ensure that your child is protected from scalding water. If you don't have a thermometer remember that Water does not steam at this temperature, and the water should only be slightly warm to the touch before setting your child in the tub. Infants in general like to take baths, if your baby cries or turns red when set in water, remove the child emediately, and cool the water to a more acceptable temperature.
- Always stay with your young child when bathing. Children can turn on the hot water by themselves. This is dangerous because it only takes a few seconds for the child to either scald himself or drown. Do not leave to answer the door or telephone.
- When checking the bathtub water - put your hand all the way in the water, spread your fingers and move your hand back and forth throughout the length of the tub to check for hot spots before putting your child in the tub.
- Mats and decals. Prevent bathtub falls by placing a rubber mat in the tub or affixing non-slip adhesive decals or strips to the bottom of the tub. They are readily available at hardware or baby-supplies stores and come in a variety of colors and designs.
- Wet kids and slippery floors don't mix. Be sure to use (and teach your child to use) extra caution and keep a non-slip bathroom rug by the side of the tub for your child to step onto after bathing.
- Keep electrical devices (including hair dryers, curling irons, and electric razors) well away from the tub. Also, make sure that any outlets near the tub are the type that meet safety standards to protect them from water.
- Several types of bath seats and rings adhere to the bottom of the tub with suction cups and offer bathing infants and toddlers support while sitting. These are fine to use, but don't let them lull you into thinking that you can leave your child unattended. The suction cups can come loose, and it isn't hard for a child to slide out of or roll over in one of these seats.