By Nancy Mattia, CTW Features
Water plays a big role in terms of child safety in the bathroom. Kids can slip on a wet floor and break a bone. Babies can get burned in bath water that’s too hot. A toddler left alone can drown in a toilet bowl. All of these dreadful situations can be avoided by assessing your home’s bathroom safety level and making changes and additions as needed. Simple things—installing grab bars in the shower or bath to leaving the toilet seat down—can up the safety factor instantly. Read on for these and other useful tips when your goal is to make the bathroom a safe place for kids:
Provide uninterrupted supervision
Bad things can happen when you leave a little one alone in a bathtub. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, a child can drown in as little as two inches of water, and it often happens quickly and silently, with no splashing or screaming. If you must leave the bathroom when the doorbell rings or you must check on what’s cooking in the oven, ask another adult to watch the baby or take them with you.
Avoid scalding baby’s skin
Hot water may be blissful to adults but it’s not recommended for infants and young children whose skin is much more delicate. Before setting them in bath water, test it first with a bath thermometer, temperature-sensitive bath toy, or your elbow or wrist. Keep water at 100 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid burns, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Install a toilet lock
To prevent kids from drowning in a toilet bowl, always keep the lid down. The children’s hospital also recommends putting a toilet bowl lock on it.
Lay down slip-resistant bathtub mats
Put these plastic mats, which have tiny suction cups that adhere to a flat surface, on the floor of the bath tub and the floor just outside the tub or shower.
Add safety bars to the bathroom walls
Grab bars, which should be nailed onto the walls inside and outside of the bath tub and shower, aren’t just for the elderly or disabled—they help keep children safe from slipping while getting into and out of the tub too.
Lock up cleaning products
If you keep Windex, Mr. Clean, and the rest of your cleaning artillery in a low cabinet, put a lock on it so youngsters won’t gain access to these products and swallow them. If you keep cleaners on a shelf in full view, move them to a better place that’s out of their sight.