Bath Time and Water Safety
Bath time can be fun for babies, but can also be dangerous if adults don’t keep an eye out.
Babies can drown in less than an inch of water. Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for infants and young children ages 1 to 4.
Water can be unsafe for babies no matter where you ﬁnd it – in a bucket, bowl, toilet, tub, sink, puddle, pool, or elsewhere.
To keep your baby safe, remove any water from his play areas and never leave him alone when there’s water around, even if it’s not deep. Keeping your eyes on your baby when there is water around is the most important thing you can do to keep him safe. He’s counting on you!
Bath Time Tips
- Always stay nearby. Never leave another young child to care for your baby alone in the bath or near water.
- Make it comfortable. Babies like bathwater cooler than adults, between 90o F and 100o F., Check the bath water temperature with your wrist to be sure it’s not too hot before putting your baby in the tub.
- Keep supplies an arm’s reach away. Keep bath supplies in front of you and within reach before you start bathing your baby.
- Not above her waist. From a sitting position, the tub water should never be more than waist-high on your baby.
- Bath seats can’t replace you. Bath seats are helpful but can tip over and cause babies to slip out. Don’t use one in place of your own care and watchful eye.
- Take her with you. If you have to leave the room for a phone call or to answer the door during bath time, wrap your baby in a towel and take her with you.
Did you know?
Babies can get cavities. In fact, baby teeth decay easily and need special care to keep them clean and healthy. Young children can’t get their teeth clean on their own and will need your help.
To help keep cavities away…
- No bottles in bed.
Having a bottle in bed can expose teeth to sugars that cause cavities and can put your child at risk for ear infections and choking.
- Start cleaning teeth early.
You can start cleaning your baby’s teeth as soon as they come in. Use a clean, soft cloth to wipe them or a baby toothbrush.
- Help him drink from a cup.
Teach your child to drink out of a cup as soon as possible. Drinking from a cup makes it less likely for cavity-causing liquids to sit around his teeth. Also, a cup can’t be taken to bed.
- Use bottles and sippy cups for short times.
If your child must use his bottle or sippy cup for long periods of time, ﬁll only with water.
- Take him to the dentist early on.
Dentists suggest having the ﬁrst visit by a child’s ﬁrst birthday.
- Check your baby’s teeth.
Healthy teeth should be all one color. If you see spots or stains on your child’s teeth, take him to a dentist.
Q & A
Q: I’m always with my daughter when we’re in the bathroom, but I still worry about her safety. How can I baby proof our bathroom?
A: The bathroom has some serious safety risks, so it’s great you are by her side. The most important thing you can do to keep her safe in the bathroom is to never leave her alone.
To make your bathroom the safest it can be, you will also want to look around for anything that could be harmful to her.
Most bathrooms store cleaners, medicines, and products that may be toxic to children. Keep those out of reach in a cabinet with a safety latch.
Make sure electrical appliances are unplugged. You may also want to get a toilet lock to keep the lid clamped when it’s not in use.