Bath tub safety
The most important safety measure for toddlers in the bath is your supervision. While they might not need a hand on them at all times – especially as they get older – you do need to be constantly present and always watching your toddler; they can still drown in just a couple of inches of water.
For a supervised bath, the water level should be around your toddler's waist or belly button height when they are seated. And, although your toddler will want to stand at various times, you need to teach them that they should remain seated when they're in the tub unless they're getting in or out.
Try and have anything your toddler might want to play with in arms reach or in the tub itself. This will help avoid distractions, standing up and reaching out.
Bath safety itemsTo better protect your little one in the bath itself, some safety measures you can introduce are:
- A non-slip rubber or silicone mat
- Bath thermometer
- Cushioned tap covers to stop bumps
- An anti-scald device for the tap
- Tap protectors to stop your toddler turning the taps on.
- Bath Seat
What's the right water temperature for a toddler?
The ideal water temperature for a toddler is just about body temperature, or 37 degrees Celsius. You can measure this using a bath thermometer, or regulate it through electronic temperature controls. Other control methods include the installation of an anti-scald device, which can usually be picked up at your local plumbing or hardware store.
When running the water, always turn the cold on first and off last. When testing the temperature without a thermometer, water that leaves your skin flushed is going to be too hot for your toddler.
What if my toddler's afraid of the water?
It probably wasn't too long ago that you were afraid of getting sucked down the drain too! Try and understand things from your toddler's perspective and take any fears of the bath or water seriously – this is just your toddler's survival instinct kicking in. The best thing you can do is to educate your toddler and make them feel safe.
Strategies you can try include:
- Taking a bath with your toddler
- Taking a shower together
- Letting your toddler play in the bath with their toys while there's no water in it
- With a partner's assistance, letting your toddler see you taking a bath
- Taking your toddler out of the bathroom before pulling the plug