What do you think about when you need to let your little kids play in the bathroom during bath time? Did you imagine all the possible accidents that can occur? You really should. Because there are many.
First of all, if your bathroom is not baby proofed and the baby is still under four years old and clumsy, he can easily slip and fall on slippery bathroom flooring. Secondly, if your baby crawls or walks around in an empty bathtub, they can bump their head into sharp corners or even drown in the tub and have painful bumps!
What else should parents consider? Bathroom cabinets with open doors where medicines and toilet papers are stored may be dangerous because it’s easy for them to find something wrong to eat due to curiosity.
Follow my 9 real life tips of baby proofing to keep your baby safe in the bathtub.
When parents should start baby proofing the bathtub?
According to the information found on professional medical advice, it is important to start the babyproofing process as soon as your child can sit up on his own to avoid bathtub injuries.
The largest number of accidents in the bathtub involve slipping, and the child’s falling head. The little ones often slip because they do not know how to use the slippery surfaces properly.
If parents want to know when they should start baby proofing their tub, it is important to think about what kind of adult and child safety items and environmental conditions you already have in place.
For example, if you have a tub surround that has pretty big and pointy corners, then you should definitely start babyproofing your bathtub. If you do not have any safety equipment or child chain locks in place, then it may be time to buy some.
As a parent myself, I have come up with some necessary steps and share with you the 9 best ways to baby proof bathtub.
The most important of all in baby proofing your bathroom is to make sure that your kids are not left unsupervised and can’t go anywhere near the tub when you fill it with water. It’s better if you keep your bathroom door closed all the time when not in use. Try to keep a step stool beside the bathtub so they can get in and out with ease.
Supervision means parents should supervise their little kid properly until he/she grows up enough to become an independent, self-dependent person. During supervision, the parent’s eyes must always be on the child because children don’t know anything about danger and do things more quickly than adults think.
So we must tell them what we want them not to do instead of doing it ourselves which might annul their attention. When we do so, kids will understand why we forbid something and how dangerous it can be to something they want to do.
This step will ensure your child grows up healthy without doing harm to themselves or others in society.
Also read: How to Babyproof Stairs? (Easiest ways)
2) Check water level
If you like to just fill the bathtub with water and let your little kids play in it, I have bad news for you. You can be a victim of terrible accidents or bathtub injuries. How?
When we enjoy our bath time, we tend to do something else while letting our baby play alone in the baby proofed bathtub filled with a safe inch of water. But we wouldn’t know when they start drowning if we keep doing so until something happens.
So, safety measures should be considered before baby proofing their bathing routine. If your bathroom has an overflow drain, you can use it to make sure the water level in the tub is safe for your baby. This kind of drain is designed with a low-lying collar around the drain opening that allows water to escape if it starts to rise above safe levels (more than half) inside the bathtub. You can test this drain with water in the bathtub to make sure it works.
What we can do to ensure a baby proofed and secure bathing time is just to check whether there’s enough water for our baby or not.
In my opinion, one of the safety measures is checking the water level in the tub before kids go to play inside.
Also read: 8 Tips to Child Proof Garbage Can
3) Keep water temperature below 120 degrees Fahrenheit
Hot water can give your baby a second degree burn if he/she puts her hand in the water. So, parents should use a scald shower valve and set the water temperature below 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49°C).
So, to give your baby a baby proofed bath, use an anti-scald shower valve to set your water temperature to around 100-110°F (38-43°C). It is really easy after you get used to it. Meanwhile, don’t let your kids touch the bathtub faucet when the water is running.
4) Place the bath mat at the bottom of the bathtub to prevent slipping
If you have a non slip or non skid type bath mat, it’s even better to prevent slips. If your kids are really young, you should keep them away from slippery flooring. To baby proof your bathtub, you can put bath mats or even put some pillows on the floor so they won’t need to stand up and walk. It will reduce your baby’s risk of falling and getting injured.
You can also ask them to play on the non slip floor instead of the bath seat. It’s better because it will prevent slips on the shower curtain and fall while playing in a bathtub by themselves.
5) Never leave your kids alone with water even for a moment
Even though you think children are in a safe place as long as he/she is in the baby proofed tub under supervision, you still shouldn’t leave your child alone. If something happens during bathing, such as fainting or choking, you will have no time to help your kid due to lack of supervision.
You can say that a babysitter, a nanny, or even the entire family usually won’t be around every single second watching every little move of kids, and this kind of accident can happen anytime, anywhere. That means we should always stay alert and keep our eyes on kids whenever they are playing or doing something.
6) Cover that spout to save the kids
In case your baby falls in the water when you are not around, he/she needs some safe spot to get out from the bathtub. If there’s a spout cover or any other kind of cover on it, it can prevent accidental drowning hazards. How?
If we put a cover on the spout and our kid is trying to play with the water by putting his/her head under the bathtub faucet, and their body slips off and tries to grab something for safety, he/she will be wounded because they cannot reach something at all.
But if there’s no such thing as spout covers, things could get much worse. So, to baby proof your bathtub, make sure to cover the spout to prevent any kind of accidental drowning.
7) Keep faucet handles safe
Many mothers think that their kids don’t intend to touch the faucet at all because they are just a baby or a kid. That’s a big mistake to believe so. Your kids will start playing with everything as soon as they can communicate with others. So you should never let them play without supervision.
When our little ones are playing in the water, they begin to learn how things work by themselves, and they try to push buttons or pull levers everywhere. It’s really hard for us, especially when we are taking care of so many things at once. But it’s better to carefully check what happens around them if possible even though it takes time since kids are very curious about every single thing.
Even if it’s not likely that your kids can reach the faucet handles, it doesn’t mean they cannot touch them at all. So, as another baby proofing way, you should take the below precautions to avoid any bathtub injuries or accidental drowning during bathing time.
- Forbid children playing near the tub, especially around the spout.
- Make sure that your child is protected from touching any water or even the bathtub as much as possible.
- Take your children’s toys away to prevent them from playing near the tub because they can grab some stuff and slide down on it.
8) Follow the age limit for bathtub toys
It’s so easy for them to rip the doll made with soft materials apart if they use their teeth. Children under 3 years old are not likely to understand how things work at all. However, it doesn’t mean you can trust them anyway since some accidents can happen anytime, anywhere without any notice.
So, to baby proof and make your baby’s bath time safe, make sure you check toys whenever it’s their bath time or even when you are bathing them. Just pick up the things on the floor carefully because there might be small parts that could choke your kid if swallowed accidentally. You might also want to keep the toilet paper out of their reach since it can cause some mess too.
That’s why we should always check every room where kids play with water, including the bathroom, despite the bathroom being inside or outside of the house.
Babies don’t know what’s going on in the world, so it’s important to try our best to prevent any kind of accident from happening.
9) Be careful with electricity
Many kids are injured in the bathtub every year because they cannot recognize danger when touching something electric. As we all know, it’s dangerous to use any kind of electrical device, especially in water. So it’s really important to teach them about electricity early before they start asking why or how it works to avoid accidents during bathing time.
My daughter, who is now three years old, knows how to turn off the faucet and water heater as well as she can understand that it’s dangerous for her to touch electrical devices in the water.
Tips to keep the electricity safe from the bathtub? Here you go.
- Keep the electrical outlet or switch that’s near water safe and clean.
- Don’t take your children in the bathroom without adult supervision even though they understand what we say.
- Never let kids touch or switch anything electric like a water heater when bathing, especially in the pool, because it could be too late to tell them not to do it after they’re getting shocked.
Every parent must pay better attention to their kids when they take a bath by themselves, which means you have to keep an eye on them all the time, even though it takes time.
You can also buy some bathtub toys that are safe for kids to play in the water to improve their interest when playing with water even though they are not safe enough because it may cause other kinds of accidents without noticing.
So, if you have any unfinished works in your home, including the bathroom, please finish them before taking a bath or letting your kid play with water. Because it can be very dangerous if your kid is alone in the tub. It’s also important to remind them about electric devices to make bath time safe and playful for them.