What You Need to Know — The Baby Cubby

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Do you ever feel like your child just doesn’t get the whole “if you do that thing you will get hurt” phenomenon? I really get that feeling when my daughter runs full-force towards a wall with her hamper on her head. Or tries to scale a stair railing. Or tries to push a bigger kid around. Little kids all have an astute awareness of things that will bring the most danger to their lives, and they often do that thing rather than avoid it. That is why bath safety is so important. 

Here are the four most important things to remember when giving your baby or toddler a bath:

Never Leave them Unattended

This is rule number one. Before you begin to give your baby or toddler a bath, make sure that everything you need is within arm’s reach. It can be tempting to leave your child for just a few seconds, especially when they are very mobile and talking, but even that is too long. Both of my parents worked for AirMed and LifeFlight so they saw the saddest of the sad when it came to patients. I cannot tell you the number of times my dad has reminded me not to leave my little girl unattended in the bathtub (or even just the bathroom, because believe or not the toilet is a drowning risk). He has picked up too many children who have drowned in the bathtub to let me forget it.

Check the Water Temperature

When my husband was in nursing school (basically my whole family is in healthcare, which is probably why I am a hypochondriac) he came home one day distraught over bath temperatures. They had watched an entire slideshow on burn victims (a super fun day of class, I’m sure). May of the victims were babies and small children who had been put in baths with water that was too hot. You may be thinking only abusive parents would put their child in scalding water, but sadly many well meaning parents do this by mistake. The take away was that not only should you be checking the bath temperature before you put your baby in the bath, but you should be turning your water heater max temp down to 120 degrees to help prevent scalding your child–especially if they start washing their hands on their own or figure out how to turn on the bath themselves.

Prevent Slipping 

My daughter is a climber, and for whatever reason she thinks she can scale the slick walls of the bathtub. She, in fact, cannot scale the slick walls of the bathtub and has had a number of bruises on her bum from slipping and falling. Thankfully she hasn’t had any worse injuries, because slipping in the tub can be very dangerous. Teach your child not to stand, jump, or climb while in the tub. Investing in a non-slip tub liner could also be helpful in preventing serious injury. 

Do Not Overflow

A totally full-to-the-brim bathtub can be fun, but a child can drown in as little as three to four inches of water. Make sure that the water is low enough for your child to stably move around without being fully submerged.

If nothing else, never ever ever leave your child unattended. If you are with them, you will easily notice if the bath temp is off, prevent them from slipping, and keep their heads above water. 

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