January: National Bath Safety Month

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 45% of bathroom related injuries occur to children age 10 and younger. They also make up 75% of bathroom related fatalities. Slips and falls are the main source of injuries in the bathroom, while only 100 people drown in bathtubs and 70 people die from burns in the bathtub every year.

Most of these incidences happen when the child is not being supervised by a responsible adult and usually when the adult has only stepped away for a moment.

Here are some ways you can make your bathrooms safer:

  • Put a lid lock on your toilet seat.
  • Have a non-skid surface in your bathtub.
  • Never leave small children alone around any container of water. This includes toilets, tubs, wading pools, spas, aquariums, and buckets.
  • Before bathing children, gather the soap, shampoo, toys, towel, diaper, clothing, and any other needed items you might need before running the bath water. Place these items so you can easily reach them.
  • After running bath water, check the water temperature before placing the child in the bath water.
  • Once your child is in the bath, don’t leave for any reason. Children can drown in just a small amount of water. They can easily topple into the tub or toilet. It only takes a few seconds for a drowning to happen.
  • If you must leave the room for the telephone or door, take the child with you after taking the child out of the water and wrapping him in a towel.
  • For people who are elderly or have disabilities, consider installing grab bars on walls around the tub and beside the toilet and a portable, hand-held shower head.
  • Check that the following items are not in reach of children:
    • Medicines
    • Cosmetics
    • Nail polish and removers
    • Hair products
    • Toothpaste with fluoride
    • Perfume
    • Cleaners
    • Air deodorizers
    • Mouthwash
    • Personal hygiene products
(Sources: CPSC.org, NSC.org, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services)

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