Toddler Tub Safety
From mucking through mud puddles to spreading spaghetti sauce everywhere but their mouths, toddlers get into lots of messes. So at the end of most days, she definitely needs a good sudsing and rinse — preferably in a nice, warm bath that’ll chill her out while she gets clean. In the process of washing off the gunk and grit, you’ll want to protect her and that tender toddler skin. Here’s a quick tub safety guide.
- Be her bath-time buddy. The most important thing your toddler needs in the tub time? Your constant attention. Never (not even for a second) leave your little one without adult supervision at bath time. For tub safety’s sake, stay no more than an arm’s length away at all times. That will be easier if everything you need is right there, so prep your toddler grooming supplies — shampoo, washcloth, towels, robe — ahead of time and consider the tub a phone-free zone if possible. Make sure you check that the tub has emptied after you’re done: Standing water is a safety no-no, too.
- Hide the hazards. Move all glass items and electric appliances (blow-dryers, radios, curling irons) far from the tub and make sure your bath and shower products (which are rarely kid-friendly) are well out of reach.
- Get a grip. Don’t be fooled into thinking a bath seat will keep your child safe in the tub. Bath seats or rings may make it easier to hang on to a slippery child, but they absolutely won't ensure safety in the tub. Suction cup bath mats and appliqués are more reliable tub safety choices for stopping slips, but there is simply no substitute for adult supervision.
- Test the waters. Young skin is super-susceptible to burns, so be extra vigilant about water temperature. After you fill the tub (no deeper than waist-high for your tot), check that the water’s between 90°F and 100°F with a thermometer (or use your elbow or wrist). Too warm? Add some cold water or wait a few minutes until the temp is just right. If you haven’t already, set the water temperature on your hot-water heater no higher than 120°F as a surefire way to prevent bath-time burns, and make sure you read up on treating burns in children (accidents happen!).
- Pad and protect. Your curious cutie will try to explore the tub with the same gusto as everywhere else, so protect her head from the faucet with a cute plastic cover or pad it with a washcloth.
- Select the safest suds. No-tears shampoo (a dime-sized dollop is enough) is your best bet when it comes to hair-washing (no matter how cooperative your customer may be, she’s bound to get some suds in her eyes when you rinse or she splashes). You may also want to consider a shampoo visor. Stick to a mild fragrance-free soap for her body that won’t deplete the skin's natural oils. Steer clear of bubble baths (or make them a once-in-a-while treat), since they can irritate a toddler's sensitive skin and can cause urinary tract infections.