If you have young children in your home, it’s likely they enjoy spending a good amount of time in the tub. But, it only takes a second for an accident to happen.
“Most of the time it’s just someone left the child alone and the baby slipped. So it’s more of a problem with unsupervised children,” said Kelley Johns, the pediatric nurse manager at Covenant Children’s.
There are other dangers parents should be aware of when giving a children a bath. A big one, especially during the winter, is putting them in a hot bath after they’ve spent a good chunk of time playing in the cold.
“The main concern would be scalding or if the water is too warm or too hot. We would always want you to fill the tub up first, and hopefully your hot water has the temperature setting on it,” said Johns.
The top temperature your tub should reach is 120 degrees, something you may be able to control with your hot water heater.
“Some will actually have the temperature on the hot water heaters that you can set it at 120. Some won’t, they will say low medium, hot very hot, so at that point you would want to go to the hardware store and find a scald kit that you can put on your faucet,” said Johns.
Of course, children want to play while they are in the tub, but even then, Johns said you need to be careful: “You need soft toys so they don’t fall and cut their selves on something plastic,” he said.
Plus, don’t forget young children aren’t as stable on their feet and when you add water, it can pose a serious danger.
“Some kids may need grab bars until they’re a little more steady on their feet. And then make sure the mat when they get out of the tub doesn’t slip,” said Johns.
But, one of the biggest rules to follow has to do with something that parents may have in their hand almost every moment of every day.
“If your phone rings, you just want to stay in there with your kiddo and make sure they don’t fall or have any accidents in the tub,” said Johns.
Johns also said that if your child is 4 or under, then a parent should always be in the room and paying attention.
If your child does get burned or has an accident, johns says don’t hesitate to call you pediatrician or bring them to the Covenant Children’s emergency room.