Gerber Life Family Times --- News and tips for familes of all ages and stages of life
Rub a Dub Dub—Safe in the Tub

April 2003 Issue

Do You Hear
What I Hear?

A New Year Coming

Words to Live By

Rub a Dub Dub
Safe in the Tub

Waste Not Want Not

Mail Bag

Gerber Life
Family Times Archive

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For grown-ups, nothing beats a long, luxurious soak after a hectic day. But bath time for kids can be a “love it” or “hate it” proposition. For the kids, getting clean is typically a chore and it’s much more fun to continue playing. Although bathing seems like a mundane and uneventful activity, things change when a toddler or young child enters the equation. Take some time to childproof your bathing area and consider the following before your child’s next bath:

Never leave a small child unattended in the bathroom or bathtub—not even for a split second. Do not leave to answer the door or the telephone. That time is all it takes for a tragic accidental drowning to occur.

Non-slip decals or anti-skid mats on the bottom of the bathtub are a necessity. Enamel, porcelain and fiberglass tub surfaces are extremely slick and these inexpensive items can greatly improve traction and help prevent falls in the tub.

Spilled soaps, shampoos, and conditioners can be very slick on a tub surface as well. If excess amounts of these items spill on the floor of the tub, clean them up immediately and rinse the area thoroughly.

Remove razors from the tub area to eliminate any possibility of your child becoming injured out of curiosity. Remove and discard any other small objects (broken bottle caps, flip tops, etc.) that could be a choking hazard, and throw them in the garbage.

Tile and linoleum bathroom floors can become slick when wet. Use a bath mat on the floor immediately outside the tub to help prevent accidental slippage when stepping from the tub.

Since children are smaller than adults, teach them to enter the tub a bit differently to help avoid the possibility of falling. Teach your child to sit down on the edge of the tub, lift his/her legs over the side, and then lower the rest of his or her body into the tub.

Teach your child not to play with the faucet adjustments.

Make sure your water heater is set at the proper temperature to avoid any possibility of scalding your child with water that is too hot. The Shriners Hospital for Children recommends water heaters be set no higher than 120–125 degrees F to help reduce the likelihood of severe burns. Most factory settings on new water heaters are at 120 degrees F. Test the temperature of the water with your hand before your child enters the tub.

Water and electricity are a deadly combination. Keep all electrical items and accessories far away from the tub/shower area. That includes electric razors, clocks, radios and blow dryers.

If you have any questions regarding tub safety, consult with your pediatrician. Bathing should be an enjoyable activity for all involved, and being aware of a few common sense safety tips can help take the worry out of getting clean!

Source: Shriners Hospital for Children website October 8, 2004.

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