bath safety for kids hidden dangers

National Bath Safety Month – The Dangers You Must Know

We all love bath time! The kids enjoy bubbles, toys, and a little one-on-one time with mom or dad. Parents start to daydream about the fast approaching quiet time – the hour or two after the kids go to bed – where we get to put up our feet and indulge in a Bravo reality series. Although a lot of fun, bath time is actually one of the most dangerous times of the day, and the bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house. Today, I’m giving you the most common bath dangers for kids and tips on avoiding them because…

January is National Bath Safety Month!

3 Common Bath Time Dangers for Kids

As a pediatrician, I love any opportunity to discuss safety risks and important tips. So let’s go over some of the most common dangers that lurk in the bathtub and some tips to keep your children safe and smiling.

1. Burns

Pediatricians treat many burns from hot bath water. The American Board of Pediatrics recommends setting the thermostat on your hot water heater to below 120 degrees F (48.9 C). This safety measure helps serve as a safeguard against scalding burns.

Please remember that infants and toddlers are adventurous, fast, and attracted to shiny things like the tub faucet!

Make sure to always test the water temperature before your child gets in the tub. Aim for bath water around 100 degrees F (38 C). Also, wash your child on the far end of the bathtub to decrease the chance of your child playing with the knobs and adjusting the temperature.

2. Bumps and Bruises

In the pediatric ER, we see a surge of patient visits during and after normal evening bath time. The combination of slippery surfaces and wet feet can be extremely dangerous. We treat a lot of broken bones and deep cuts requiring stitches due to slip-and-fall accidents.

I can’t stress enough the importance of supervising your child at all times in the bath! Always make sure to help them out of the bathtub and dry off the bottom of their feet. We all want our children to develop independent skills, but bath time requires close supervision and guidance.

3. Drownings

Drownings are amongst the most dangerous and devastating accidents that we see as a result of bath time. No text message or phone call is worth the safety of your child. Never leave your infant or toddler unsupervised in the bath, even for just a minute. A drowning can occur very quickly and in less than 1 inch of water. Do not rely on a sibling to supervise your infant. If you have to answer the door, wrap your child in a towel, and bring him or her with you.

Even if your toddler knows how to swim, they should never be left unattended. Small toddlers can slip, hit their head, and drown. Please treat a bathtub the same way you treat a swimming pool.

Finally, make sure to drain the water after you are done using the tub. I know we can get caught up in putting on PJs and getting bottles ready, but an unsupervised body of water is a huge drowning risk.

Final Thoughts on Bath Dangers for Kids

To recognize National Bath Safety Month, let’s all vow to pay more attention and keep our little ones safe during bath time! Infants and toddlers can get up to a lot of trouble in the blink of an eye, so be vigilant!

Happy Bath Time!

~Dr. Katie

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