Bathroom Safety for Children and Toddlers
Keeping your child clean and healthy with a daily bath or shower is an important part of daily life. However, the combination of slippery floors, hard surfaces and large volumes of water make bathrooms a particularly hazardous environment. With little strength and poor balance children are by far the most vulnerable age group and children under 5 experience over half of all bathtub and shower related injuries. Every year more than 43,000 children receive emergency treatment for bathtub and shower related injuries.We at Midlands Bathroom Distributors are well aware of the hidden dangers that bathrooms can pose to children, so we have compiled a neat summary of precautions to help you keep your child safe.
Most Common Bathroom Hazards :
- Scalding and burning from hot water
- Slips on hard surfaces can cause serious injury
- Accidental poisoning
- Drowning, even in very small amounts of water
Safety Tips :
Remove Dangerous Items
Children are a notoriously curious bunch and will pick up and play with just about anything they can get their hands on, whether it’s sharp and shiny, loaded with vaults or potentially lethal amounts of medicine, if they can reach it then chances are that they will. Consequently, any sharp utensils and appliances, razors, scissors, hair straighteners should be locked in a cupboard or bedroom. Children under five have the highest risk of accidental poisoning by a large margin so medicines including antacids, iron pills, shampoos and cosmetics, mouthwash, should all be kept safely out of reach.
Always use slip resistant mats both inside and outside the bath and shower to prevent falls. Bathroom floors inevitably get wet and very slippery, try to dry the floor before taking the child out of the bath and be sure to dry the little one’s feet. It is also a good idea to teach your child never to run in the bathroom as this greatly increases the likelihood of a fall.
If your child is younger than six you should always stay with them when they are in the bath, without exception. If the doorbell is ringing frantically, wrap your child in a towel and take them with you. It is essential that you do not leave your child unsupervised. It can be helpful to prepare carefully before every bath to prevent any need to leave the room. By getting everything ready before you start running the bath, including towels, change of clothes and maybe a mobile phone, there is no reason to be tempted to leave the room. Also be aware that bath seats should never be used as an alternative to supervision, babies can easily slip out of these seats. Experts do not recommend using baby bath seats.
Control the heat
It can take just three seconds for a child to get burnt in hot water. To reduce the risk of scalding, set hot water heaters to no higher than 48 degrees C. Also be careful to always run the cold tap first and test the temperature of the water with your own elbow before you allow your child in to the bath or shower. The water should be warm, never hot. You can also consider installing anti-scald devices to faucets which will immediately halt the flow of water if it gets too hot.
Empty the bath completely and immediately
Many people are not aware of just how dangerous even very small amounts of water can be to a child. Children have been known to drown in as little as two inches of water. Always be sure to empty the bath straight after giving your child a bath. Do not leave the child unattended until all of the water has drained away.
Always unplug appliances such as hair dryers and curling irons and be sure to put them safely out of the reach of children. If at all possible, it is better to use and store such appliances in another room where there is no water. Remember some items can retain enough electricity even after use to cause shock after they have been turned off.
Final Thoughts :
Bathroom accidents involving children are unfortunate and all too common. But by taking basic precautions such as preparing your bathroom with slip resistant mats, keeping dangerous items out of reach and constant supervision of your child at bath time, you can make the bathroom a much safer place for your child.