Bath Time Safety - Tips & Advice

Safety is paramount when your little one is using a bath seat - there is nothing more important than ensuring your baby boy or girl is completely safe at all times.

Babies and infants have a wonderful time splashing around in a bath, but it is crucial to observe certain rules to make sure the whole experience is safe and enjoyable.

Rule number one is NEVER leave a child alone during bath time - not even for a few seconds. There have been many tragic accidents in the past, often when babies or infants have been left alone a very short period of time. The design of baby bath seats has the potential to lull a parent into a false sense of security.

A parent must supervise a baby of infant at all times when they are using a bath seat, bath support or any other bathing aid. Even if a baby is securely enclosed in a bath seat, a parent must never be tempted to leave the child alone, even for a brief period of time.

A baby bath seat should only be used by a baby who is at least four months old. At this age little boys and girls can support the weight of their head and a bath chair will assist them in supporting the weight of their bodies.

Getting the temperature of the bath water just right is important. Babies and infants have very sensitive skin which can be easily damaged if the temperature it too high. The old tradition of using your elbow to test the temperature if perfectly acceptable, but using a bath thermometer is a better option. Most thermometers are shaped like animals or sea creatures, so they act as a bonus play thing for babies at bath time.

When filling a bath for a baby or infant you should add the cold water first, followed by hot water. The water should be mixed thoroughly to ensure there are no hot spots and therefore a risk of scalding.

Water depth is also important - the water for newborns and babies using a bath support should be around four or five inches deep. The depth for babies and infants who can use a bath seat should be no more that waist height when the child is in the sitting position.

Never position your child near enough to reach out and touch the hot tap. Even if the hot water is not running, there is a risk that the metallic tap itself will be very hot.

The bath water for your little one should ideally be 37 to 38 degrees Celsius, the same as normal body temperature. You should also ensure the water is not too cold or your child may become uncomfortable and agitated.

To reduce the risk of a bath seat tipping over, parents should ensure the suction cups on the underside are properly secure at all times. These cups were designed to adhere to smooth and flat surfaces - most of them will be unable to hold a seat safely in place if the surface is rough. 

When you have got your little one nice and clean and play time is over, it is time to lift your baby out of the bath seat or support. It should go without saying, that you should never consider lifting a bath seat out of the water with your child still in it. Young children lose body heat very quickly so it is important to keep your bathroom warm and wrap you child in a towel, ideally a hooded one, as soon as possible.

You should remember to check your baby's bath seat regularly to ensure there are no rough edges that could cut a child or cause any other injury. Also ensure there are no loose parts which could become detached and pose a choking risk to a baby or infant. 

A bit of commonsense and proper safety awareness goes a long way and hugely reduces the risk of harm to a child at bath time.

You'll find plenty of helpful advice about bathing a child safely on the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) website at this link: Bath Safety.