The bathroom is known as the home danger zone. More than 235,000 serious injuries occur every year in bathrooms. Nearly 100,000 of those injuries are related to bathing or showering while about 33,000 occur while using the toilet. The most vulnerable people in the bathroom are at the extreme ends of the age spectrum – seniors and toddlers. But you can keep your young one safe by following a few commonsense rules.
- No go zone: The best way to keep a toddler safe is to keep the bathroom door shut. This might mean installing a latch on the outside of the door around five feet above the floor where it can’t be reached by a small child.
- Tub safety: Slip-and-fall injuries can help be prevented with the installation of no-slip strips on the bottom of the bathtub. When bathing a toddler, place an inflatable cushion over the water faucet. Keep your water heater at 115—or even 110—to protect against scalding if your toddler accidentally turns on the faucets.
- Never leave a child alone: Children can drown in a few inches of water in less than a minute. If your phone or doorbell rings, ignore it or remove the child from the tub before you walk out of the room.
- Toxic prescriptions: Store all medicines high and out of the reach of children and make sure that all have safety caps. And don’t forget to keep soap, shampoos, and cleaning products in locked cabinets. Even toothpaste can be harmful to a curious toddler.
- Shock hazards: Hair dryers, razors, and other electric appliances can be deadly when dropped in water. Keep them unplugged and safely locked in cabinets when not in use. If you don’t already have them, install bathroom wall sockets with ground-fault circuit interrupters. These lessen the likelihood of electrical injury if an appliance falls into the sink or bathwater.