The beginning of June signals the start of Child Safety Week, a significant awareness campaign aimed at educating everyone about preventable accidents which can too often involve the little explorers in our lives, our kids. To do our part we felt it was important to give parents some advice on how to make sure the bathroom remains a fun place, where children get to play, bathe and brush in safety.
The bathroom can be a risky place for infants and young children as hot water, electricity and some dangerous products can spell danger. Despite these potential hazards here are a few simple ways to childproof your bathroom and remove any parental worries.
Preparing the perfect bath
When preparing a bath for your child, make sure to first use cold water and then bring the bath up to temperature by adding warm water, making sure the child isn’t in the bathtub at the same time. You should also try not to fill the tub with too much water, because an infant can drown in just a couple of inches if they fall unsupervised.
As a general rule for baby bath safety, the water shouldn’t be higher than the child’s waist when they are sat down, so they can easily keep their balance and stay upright.
What is the right baby bath water temperature?
The recommended range of water temperature for children is between 36-38°C so don’t hesitate to use a bath thermometer just to be sure (or dip your elbow into the water and you shouldn’t feel a thing).
When choosing bathroom fittings designed for children it’s always best to buy a mixer tap, as it’s easier to adjust the temperature coming out of just one spout, or to invest in the newer thermostatic baths and showers which set a maximum range as standard.
As an adult, water temperature isn’t such a concern as much as it is for babies and young children. Their skin is incredibly sensitive and can be burned in just three seconds if exposed to hot water, and unlike adults, infants don’t react to the temperature change right away.
The first thing to do when baby proofing a bathroom is to install an anti-scald valve directly into your taps and fittings so the water can’t exceed the recommended temperature.
Alternatively you can adjust your water heater to a maximum of 48 °C degrees which will regulate the temperature in a similar way.
Prevent slips and falls
There are lots of clever and inexpensive products which help prevent your baby from slipping in the tub. It’s a good idea to start with a smaller baby bathtub and then move them onto a baby bath seat or a baby bath ring which adds stability and are easy to remove when it’s bath time for the rest of the family.
For the young and old alike it’s also a great option to add anti-slip mats or stickers which provide more traction on slippery bathroom surfaces. This way, you will ensure bathtub safety at all times.
To make it easier to climb in and out of the tub it’s also worth installing supporting bars which make the tub safer. Remember to always put down a bath mat or towel to soak up the inevitable spills that happen from kids splashing around.
For children, bath-time rhymes with play-time, and it can get wild! So protect your kids when the inevitable slip does happen by installing bath bumpers that act like a soft cushion protecting against hard surfaces.
Faucet covers are also a good idea as kids love to play with taps and could easily slip and hurt themselves on the hard and potentially hot brassware.
Lock away dangerous products
Medicines, cosmetics, cleaning products and sharp objects like razors or scissors, are among some of the more dangerous items your toddler might get a hold of. We all know that kids want to explore and get their hands on everything so it’s best to keep these potentially harmful items out of sight but most importantly out of reach.
The best thing to do is tidy everything neatly away in cupboards and draws secured by child locks and try not to let them know where the forbidden fruit is located!
Take into account electrical risks
To be sure that your bathroom is as safe as possible, think about using safety covers across any electrical sockets or outputs and don’t forget to unplug all your small appliances (hair dryer, straightener, razors, etc…) after use.
A few other bathroom safety ideas
Many children love water so much they’ll take any opportunity to get their hands in the loo which can be dangerous and unhygienic so save yourself the trouble by installing a toilet lid lock.
Anything else that can be opened, like nappy bins, windows or drawers also need to be locked to prevent any unwanted intruders.
Finally, to reach the sink, we recommend using step stools so your kids can easily brush their teeth and wash their hands without climbing all over the place.
The most important piece of advice is to never leave a child alone in a bathroom, not only when they’re in the bath. Every second should be under supervision and even when your young ones grow up and become slightly more independent it’s important to teach them all the “No go” and “Don’t do” rules.
Make the bathroom a safe place but also a fun place
Creativity and fun can, and should be part of the bathroom routine to encourage good habits and behaviours as they grow up. These safety devices come in playful shapes and colours so your little one can be amazed by the elephant shaped faucet cover, this colorful non-slip mat or play with his floatable teddy bear thermometer. Sometimes they can even be a help to the parents as some of these tools change colors to indicate if the water is the right temperature.
Ultimately our kids should be wrapped in soft cotton cloth. Given good supervision and positive reinforcement, the bathroom isn’t a dangerous place at all but a fun space where they can play, bathe and be safe.
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How to Childproof Your Bathroom & Baby Bath Safety Tips:
- Fill the bath with cold water first, then add hot water
- Perfect water temperature for infants is between 36-38 °C degrees
- Use baby baths and child seats or rings for stability
- Use bath bumpers and anti-slip mats to prevent bumps and falls
- Add bath rails for getting in and out
- Lock away all medicines, cosmetics, cleaning products and sharp objects
- Use safety covers on your electrical sockets and unplug appliances
- Install a toilet lid lock
- Give them step stools to reach the sink
- Ensure constant supervision