By Brent Ashbaugh
It may be the smallest room in your house. It may be where you go to relax after a long hard day at work. You might have fond memories of watching your parents brush their teeth while you tried to disturb them. No, the bathroom doesn’t seem like the most dangerous room in your house, but for the safety of your children you should treat it as such. Luckily just a few changes and some precautions can help keep your child from harm. Following are some safety tips for your bathroom to help ensure the happiness and health of your child.
The best way to ensure the safety of your young child is to keep him/her out of the bathroom unless you are watching them carefully. Always keep the door closed and let them know that they are not allowed in the bathroom unless they are accompanied by an adult. This will ensure that someone will always be there to keep an eye on them. But, as most parents find out, it is impossible to always have an eye on young children especially as they start to walk and explore everything.
So, the first thing to do is make sure your bathroom floor is always dry and clean. This will help keep children from slipping and falling and keep them in an upright position. By keeping the floor clean, parents can keep children from stepping on bits of glass or plastic. Even a small piece of tissue can become a choking hazard to very young children. Very young children have a habit of putting everything they encounter into their mouth, and by keeping the floor clean parents can help protect their children from choking or swallowing objects that are not good for their stomachs.
Keep medicine in a childproof container and out of the reach of young children. And don’t forget that as children get older they really enjoy climbing as high as they can go. So, if it is possible, put medicine in a cabinet of some sort with a lock. This should keep even the most active and nosy of children from getting into your medicine. This assumes that your child doesn’t know how to pick a lock or find the hidden key.
When giving your child a bath, always stay within reach of your child. In this way you can catch them if they stand up suddenly and you can prevent them from drowning in the bath water. According to the Healthy Children website, children can drown in only a few inches of water. If for some reason you need to leave the bathroom you should always take your child out of the water, wrap them in a towel, and take them with you. This applies to every trip outside the bathroom, even if it is only a few seconds. Danger can strike in a second and regret can last a lifetime.
Change your hot water heater thermostat to a 120 degrees maximum. This will keep the water coming out of the faucet to a maximum temperature of 120. Kids can be burned very easily by hot water. Test the water with your hand before placing any child in a tub.
Don’t keep trash in the bathroom or ensure that it is unreachable by any young children. It might not seem like a big deal to a parent when they throw away old medicine, razors, or even an old trash bag, but in the hands of a child these simple items can turn dangerous in a hurry. Children will play with anything, and stuff in the wastebasket could easily end up in their mouths.
Finally, always unplug appliances after use, keep electrical items (hair dryers, razors, etc.) out of reach and away from water, and keep all hazardous and poisonous products locked up or up very high (preferably both).
Clearly, the bathroom is a place of many dangers for children. But, with a little preparation and some small changes all parents can help to protect their children and keep the bathroom as danger free as possible.