According to Phoenix Fire, about 80 children die nationally from bathtub drownings per year. Here are some tips for keeping your child safe in the tub:
- Supervision. NEVER leave a child unattended in the bathtub for ANY REASON. There is nothing important enough to risk drowning! Children can drown in just a few inches of water, and can easily topple into the tub while you're dashing out to answer the phone, get a towel, etc.
* Don't run to answer the phone.
* Don't check to see who's at the door.
* Don't leave your child to be watched by an older brother or sister.
MAKE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THESE RULES!
- Bath seats. Several types of bath seats and rings adhere to the bottom of the tub with suction cups and offer bathing infants and toddlers support while sitting. Don't think that you can leave your child unattended. The suction cups can come loose, and it isn't hard for a child to slide out of the seats.
- Get supplies first. Collect soap, towel, diaper, clothing, toys, and any other items you plan on using before you even run the bath water. Place these items where you can reach them easily.
- Water heater. To reduce the risk of scalding, set your home's water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A good test: You should be able to hold your hand comfortably under the tap even when the hot water alone is running.
- Faucet covers. Placing a soft, insulated cover over the bathtub faucet is a prudent safeguard against accidental burns or bumps. They are available at many baby-supplies stores.
- Slips and Falls. Prevent bathtub slips and falls by placing a rubber mat in the tub or affixing non-slip adhesive decals or strips to the bottom of the tub.
- Electrical hazards. Keep electrical devices (including hair dryers, curling irons, and electric razors) well away from the tub.
- Slippery floors. Be sure to use (and teach your child to use) extra caution and keep a non-slip bathroom rug by the side of the tub for your child to step onto after bathing.
Copyright 2008 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.