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Bathroom safety - children

To prevent accidents in the bathroom, never leave your child alone in the bathroom. Keep bathrooms closed when they are not being used.

Bathtub Safety

Children younger than 6 years old should NOT be left unattended in the bathtub. They should also not be in the bathroom alone if there is water in the bathtub.

Empty the tub after baths. Make sure the tub is empty before you leave the bathroom.

Older siblings bathing with younger ones should NOT be put in charge of a younger child’s safety. There should be an adult in the bathroom during bath time.

Preventing Falls

Prevent slipping in the tub by using non-skid decals or a rubber mat inside the tub. Dry the floor and your child’s feet after a bath to prevent slips. Teach your child never to run in the bathroom because of the risk of slipping on a wet floor.

Encourage your child to stay seated during their bath by providing bath toys or a bath seat.

Preventing Burns

Prevent injuries or burns from faucets by covering the spout, blocking your child’s reach to the spout, and teaching your child not to touch the spout.

Keep the temperature on your hot water heater set below 120 °F. Or, install an anti-scald valve to prevent the water from going above 120 °F.

Preventing Other Injuries

Keep all items in your house that hurt your child out of your their reach. These include shaving razors hairdryers, radios, and curling irons.

Keep all electronic items unplugged while your child is in the bathroom. Store all cleaning products out of the bathroom or in a locked cabinet.

Preventing Drug Accidents

Any medicines kept in the bathroom should be stored in a locked cabinet. This includes medicines that were bought without a prescription.

Keep all medicines in their original bottles, which should all have childproof caps.

Preventing Drowning

Place a lid lock on the toilet to prevent a curious toddler from drowning.

Never leave a child unattended around large buckets of water. Empty buckets after using them.

Make sure grandparents, friends, and other caretakers follow bathroom safety guidelines. Make sure your child’s daycare also follows these guidelines.

References

American Academy of Pediatrics: Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention. Policy statemet -- prevention of drowning. Pediatrics. Aug 2010;116: 178-185.

Updated: 11/12/2012

Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.


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