When your little one starts to crawl and stand, it sparks lots of excitement quickly followed by a frenzied dash around the house by Mum and Dad to try to make everything a little bit safer.
It is helpful to start explaining some common dangers in very simple terms such as ‘radiator hot – ouch’ or ‘don’t run, slippery’ to help your toddler start to gain an idea about some of the dangers, but without going into lots of details that might frighten the child or put them off exploring.
Kids will be kids, and you don’t want to wrap them up in cotton wool, but protecting them from some of the bigger dangers is a sensible precaution.
Bathtime should be a fun and relaxed time to spend with your child, but there are a few lurking hazards that can be easily recognised and rectified. Here are a few tips for toddler proofing the bathroom:
- Slippery floors – always mop up any water spills and splashes on the bathroom floor before getting your child out of the bath. If you can afford it, invest in some good quality anti-slip lino or anti-slip tiles.
- Radiators – towel rails and radiators can often be set quite hot, so make sure you adjust it to a suitable level that won’t burn an inquisitive child’s hand.
- Water temperature – make sure your water thermostat is set so that the water is not scalding – around 60 deg C is standard. This way if your child happens to turn on the hot tap they will not get a nasty shock.
- Electricity – never, ever use hair dryers of any electrical appliance in the bathroom that could be accidentally dropped into the bath.
- Medicines – always keep your medicines, lotions and potions in a locked cupboard out of reach of children
- Cleaning products – likewise that bottle of bleach by the loo will have to go well out of reach for now.
- Bathroom bumps – layouts of bathrooms can sometimes be awkward so get down on the floor from a child’s perspective to check for sharp corners and consider putting some padding or cushioning in potentially problematic areas.
- Running the bath – always run the cold tap first so that there is no danger of the bath water being too hot, then when adding the warm water an elbow in the water is a good safety check before you child gets in. If you are not confident doing this, there are water thermometers that you can buy that tell you when the water is in a safe temperature range.
- Slippery bath or shower – And of course, a big danger with excited young children in the bath is that they might slip and bump their heads. A bath mat, or ideally anti slip bath sticker that are permanently in place are a practical and very worthwhile investment.
Make sure you never leave a young child unattended in the bath, and it pays dividends to get your towel, a clean nappy and pyjamas at the ready before you start bathtime.