January is National Bath Safety Month

By Suzette Wilkinson January 19, 2022
According to the Center of Disease Control, in the United States, an average of 370 people among all age groups suffer from bathtub/shower related injuries every day. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death of children 4 and under but drowning is not the only concern. Burns from hot water and falls cause injuries that could require medical treatment and could be potentially fatal.

Here is a list of safety measures that will help you keep not only your youngest family members safe but also your elderly loved ones and the whole family. 

1. Be aware of the water temperature. Scalding hot water can cause fatal injuries. Children have sensitive skin in general and can burn easily.
     a. To prevent burns, stop it from the source. Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees.  
     b. Do not put your child in the tub while it fills up. Water temperature can fluctuate and cause burns.
     c. Test the water temperature with your wrist or elbow, 

2. Always supervise your children while they bathe. Never leave a young child unattended in the tub (or any body of water for that matter!)
    a. Make sure you are within reach. It only takes as little as 30 seconds and an inch of water for a child to drown. 
   b. Before you put your child in the tub, make sure you have everything you need. Toiletries, wash cloth, towels
   c. Avoid distractions. That game of Candy Crush and that phone call can wait.
   d. Do not overfill the tub. Babies only need 1-2 inches of water to get clean. Older children who can sit unassisted should only need water to their waist. 

3. Never allow your child to rough house in the tub or shower. Showers and tubs are slippery, then add soap and clumsy kids and we have an accident waiting to happen.  
   a. Place non-slip pads or mats in the shower to prevent slips.
   b. Place a non-slip mat outside the tub or shower. We all know kids love to splash and wet floors can be dangerous, so an absorbent non slip mat will help prevent a falls.
   c. Cover  sharp edges and dangerous objects, such as fixtures. 

4. To prevent other health hazards remember to clean and disinfect bath toys to prevent mold and bacteria.

5. Toilets also pose a drowning risk for young children. 
    a. Use safety latches to keep toilet seats secured. 
    b. Keep bathroom doors closed.

6. Keep electrical devices  away from tubs and water sources as well as from your little ones to prevent potential electrocution.

7. Last but not less important, learn CPR. While you can take all the precautions, accidents do occur and when every second counts, knowing CPR can make all the difference. West Jeff Hospital,  Touro Infirmary Hospital and the Red Cross offers classes. Call or check their websites for information on dates and cost. 

Now that you have had a refresher on how to prevent accidents and injuries in the Bathroom, you and your little one can enjoy bath time, safely.