The bathroom suite is a fully functional practical space for relaxation and pampering, however it is also potentially a hazardous expanse that can cause injury, particularly for children. Our ultimate guide is here to ensure that you enjoy your bathroom whilst keeping your children safe. Read on for the top tips for child safety.
Child Safety – Top Tips for the Bathroom
First things first, it’s essential to identify potential risks and hazards. There are numerous unanimous hazards that are identical in any bathroom but there are individual factors to consider. Being aware of both obvious and subtle dangers is a good way to start. Make a brief list of everything that you believe could potentially be a danger.
A very real risk in bathrooms is the danger of drowning. For this reason, you should never leave a baby or child unattended in the bathroom especially with deep water. Likewise, you should never leave children in the care of older siblings, as arguments and play can escalate quickly. By always being with your child until they are old enough to understand for themselves the consequences of hazardous bathroom behaviour, you can eliminate many of the risks.
Remain present with your child in the bathroom and talk them through why things are dangerous, why they should avoid doing it and what they can do to minimise risks. For example, touch the hot water tap and say ‘ouch – hot!’ Encourage children to play along and recall important lessons. You can even incorporate bath time play into the teaching process to make it stick.
Remove any lotions, potions, cleaning products or prescription medications. If you can, store them under lock and key in your bedroom or in the kitchen in a high up cabinet that is also locked. Store all medicines in their original bottles retaining their labels so that they can be identified. In the event of children getting a hold of bottles, you will able to figure out what they have consumed. Make sure that children cannot easily reach cabinets or units and access medications. Remember also that children are crafty and may be able to reach units from the sink, bath or by using chairs, tables or other items of furniture. It’s useful if you can secure furniture to the ground so that children cannot move them around.
Children can scald themselves by running hot water taps. By being present at bath time, this is unlikely to happen. If you do have to quickly leave the bathroom, to answer a call or tend to another child, make sure a trustworthy member of the family can step in as you leave. Teach your child to be careful of hot water. It might even be useful to mark the hot water tap with waterproof coloured tap so that children are more visually aware of the danger.
Keep a first aid kit to hand. Although the aim is to not need it, it’s always better to have one nearby in the event of an accident or injury. This way, you can rectify the matter as quickly as possible.
Are heights an issue in your bathroom? Can your child use bathroom furniture to access low windows? If possible, make sure windows are high up and unreachable. If you can keep them locked or ensure that they only push out so far (so that a child can’t squeeze between) then this is ideal!
Keep conditioners, shampoos, cleansers and moisturisers away from the bath. Purchase child friendly options like Johnsons No Tears Shampoo so that even if children do happen to get the product into their eyes, there’s no lasting damage. Only keep necessities by the bath. Remember that children like to drink and eat everything in their sights so it might be worth moving liquids into smaller bottles and containers.
Establish bath time rules with your child and make sure the whole family follow through. Rules can include no running in the bathroom, no rooting through the cabinets and not turning on the hot water tap.
Always dry your child’s feet and teach them to do so themselves when they are old enough.
If slipping is a real concern, consider investing in a walk in bath or shower. These are a great alternative and enable you to bathe more closely with your child in a safe, secure environment.
Consider a child gate to prevent children wandering into the bathroom when you are not present.
Provide your child with plenty of bathroom toys. This will keep them engaged in bathroom play and minimise the likelihood of them wishing to play with chemicals or products.
Bath seats and pillows can add comfort but are also good ways to promote that bathrooms are a place of relaxation and cleansing rather than rough play zones. They will also help to keep your child a little more secure and prevent slippage.
Reward children for positive bath time play. Children respond better to positive reinforcement rather than negative so if your child has done something good, tell them so.
Non-slip bath mats or chairs are the perfect way to prevent slipping and falling in the bath. Mats are also a good idea on the bathroom floor for little wet feet.
Keep on top of Bathroom Safety
Practice what you preach. Don’t do anything in the bathroom that you would consider dangerous for your child. Remember, children imitate what they see from their primary caregivers. Don’t do anything silly to try and make them laugh, because they will no doubt try it themselves when your head is turned.
Ask friends and families about concerns that have cropped up whilst they’ve had children in the bathroom. It might make you aware of concerns you’d never considered before and help keep you prepared.
Every few months or so, check that everything is in order. Have you added any new products to the bathroom? Are your locks still working? Is everything still labelled? Take stock and check that everything is running smoothly. Remain vigilant and prepared when it comes to bathroom safety.