Last updated on February 5th, 2018 at 07:48 pm
Children engage in unsafe bath-time behaviors if they get overstimulated. This can happen if they are bathed with siblings, friends, if two parents are present in the room, or if they are asked to be on they’ve expressed that they don’t want to. Today we are focusing on bath-time safety with small children and preventative efforts. To create safety, parents can notice when kids start jumping up-and-down, throwing soaps, trying to turn faucets on and off, and reduce the stimulation either by changing the time of the bath, the configuration of siblings and people in the room, or lowering the lights.
Bath-time safety with small children and preventative efforts
Allana Robinson, a Parenting Effectiveness Coach and Child Behaviour Strategist, AllanaRobinson.com. Allana says she was discussing bath-time safety last week with her facebook group, the Parenting Posse.
These are my top tips for keeping your little ones safe at bath time:
Set up a safe environment.
If your baby can’t sit unassisted- use a reclined infant bath. If they can sit unassisted, ensure they have a non-slip surface (preferably a suctioned bath mat) to sit on. Tubs can be slippery- and especially when your proprioception (spatial awareness) is still developing- a simple weight shift can send your child sliding under water. Install a bath bar- the same kind Grandma’s got to protect her in the tub. This helps keep them stable while standing up to wash bums and feet. Setting them up for success is the easiest thing you can do. No matter what though- NEVER LEAVE YOUR CHILD UNATTENDED IN THE WATER.
Use declarative language!
We are wired to oppose direct commands. No matter how many times you tell your toddler to sit down, they’re going to Stand up. Instead, use declarative language to help you reinforce the we sit on the tub boundary. Instead of saying sit down! Say You’re standing in the tub. After giving them a second to think about it- if they’re still standing- share your concerns. I’m worried that you’re going to slip and fall when you stand in the tub. The difference? When you give a direct order- your child complies on impulse. Which makes it very easy to then turn around and go back to what they were doing. When you point out what they’re doing that’s potentially dangerous and why- they make an active decision to do the safe thing, which is more likely to stick.
Treat bath-time like a swimming lesson.
Just like we teach our kids water safety at the pool or the beach, we need to teach them water safety at home. Practice holding your breath, floating, walking in the bathroom, and asking before they hop in the tub- exactly what they’re learning in their Red Cross swimming lessons! This keeps messaging about water consistent, which makes it easier to remember.
Help your child remember the progression of bath time by having pictures that demonstrate each step in the bathing process posted near the tub (laminate them for waterproofness). This helps keep bath time consistent, which reduces the chance your child is going to freak out when playtime is over, and it’s time to get out- causing a dangerous temper tantrum while sitting in waist-deep water. Children thrive on consistency, and time is still a very abstract concept for them. By having the visual references for where in the bathing process they are- you help them keep track of the pending expectations so that they aren’t a surprise.
Brief warning on bath-time safety
Sherry Gavanditti, Public Relations Media Specialist MenorahPark.org, would like to share a brief warning for parents.
When my daughters were young, I was bathing them together. On a Mother’s Day, hubby ran to the store to get something for a special Mother’s Day dinner that night. When he left, I was sitting on the floor by the tub and watching the girls as they splashed around in their bubble bath. They were 3 and 5. As I sat there on the floor, I noticed a small stain on the tile floor by the tub. I reached for the Tilex and a paper towel and sprayed a little on the floor and scrubbed it. Within seconds, I began to feel faint and could feel myself beginning to black out. I didn’t realize it was the Tilex.
I wanted to get my girls out of the tub and to safety as quickly as I could, so I pulled them out of the tub and put towels around them and went to call 911. We looked outside the window and didn’t see any birds or hear anything. We wondered if it was something in the air from the chemical plant down the street. Waiting for 911 responders, I continued to feel faint, dizzy and nauseous. I felt as if there had been some kind of chemical spill or worse. But felt it may be worse being inside, so I took the girls to the garage.
By the time my poor hubby came home, we were all in the ambulance. He was quite shocked to see massive fans in our front and back doors blowing fresh air in and bad air out. It was the Tilex! So, a warning to parents, while bathing you children, do not have cleaning agents in the bathroom. Even a small squirt can do major damage!
Like this Post on Bath-time safety with small children and preventative efforts?
Why not subscribe to our blog? It’s fast, easy, and you can unsubscribe at any time. You Can Download an Infographic on Child Development Stages for free on signing up to the MomoandMe Blog.