Bath time for many kids can be a really fun time especially when surrounded by mountains of bubbles and toys to play with. How many of you reading this remember spending many nights in the bathtub just having a blast playing with the toys and the smell of Mr. Bubbles? For many bath time will always be remembered as that time we as kids could allow our imaginations to wander with excitement. When it comes to bath time, no parent wants to think of the worst but unfortunately for some, bath time ends in tragedy.
Typically, January marks National Bath Safety Month but for the obvious reasons it is a year-round issue. It has been asserted that that more children actually die in bath tubs than from accidental shootings in the United States according to ConsumerSafety.Org. Many would not know this as the medias does not report on this fact.
Overall, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury/death in children ages 1 to 4, outranking accidental shootings, poisonings, falls and smoke/fire exposure combined.
Data compiled from 1999-2015 puts drowning deaths (7,543) over the combined causes listed above (4,590).
“Bath time injuries and drownings can occur in a matter of moments” says Chief Ed Castillo. “Parents must understand that constant supervision of children is the key to prevention of injury/death”
One in 5 parents have left their child alone in the bathtub of pool according to a June 2016 report released by Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen Program and Safe Kids Worldwide. Additionally, 20in 5 admit to being distracted while their child was in the tub.
Why are some parents walking away, either mentally or physically? Some experts agree there’s a false sense of security when safety devices are around. For example, infant bath seats are a popular bathing aid, but many authorities advise against them as they’re known to tip over, which could cause a child to fall into the water and drown. Another reason can be attributed to the fact that many parents were brought up in homes that simply did not think about safety awareness as it was not as prevalent as it is today.
Here are some safety tips that can prevent injuries/death during bath time:
- Check the water temperature – The Mayo Clinic recommends bath water should be around 100 degrees F. You should ensure the temperature isn’t too hot by checking the it with your hand prior to putting your child in the tub.
- Opt for infant/child sized bathtub – While the idea of using an infant bath seat or inflatable tub is tempting, most experts don’t recommend them. AAP, Consumer Reports and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, among others, advise parents to use a hard plastic bathtub as an alternative.
- Keep it at 2 inches – Fill the infant/child tub with no more than 2 inches of water. Make sure it’s on a flat surface when filling, and never add water to the tub with the baby inside. If the infant/child tub is in a regular bathtub, make sure the drain is open so excess water doesn’t fill the larger tub’s reserve (it could cause the infant tub to float and tip).
- Stay alert – While obvious, it’s worth mentioning to always be within arm’s reach when around water, because a small child can drown in less than an inch of water. Most drownings occur in a matter of moments so leaving the immediate area could prove to be fatal.
The one thing we want to stress is that bath time for the kids should be fun and parents needs to be vigilant to supervise kids at all times. Our goal is to educate parents on the dangers of injury and death in or around water.
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