Preventing Toddler Bathtub Injuries

Kim Conte

Here's a scary statistic: half of all bathtub injuries involve toddlers.

A new study in Pediatrics shows that 120 kids each day are rushed to the emergency room for bath- or shower-related injuries—with children age 4 and under accounting for most of these accidents. How do these injuries occur? It's probably not what you'd expect...

Although burns and incidents of drowning/near-drowning are common bathtub accidents, new research shows more than 43,000 kids each year are injured by slips and falls.

The most common toddler injuries resulting from slips and falls are cuts and lacerations, particularly to the head. "They tend to topple forward...They have a high center of gravity, and they tend to strike their head and their face..." said one of the doctors in the study.

Althought experts place most of the blame on bathtub and shower manufacturers (for not providing enough friction), there are a few things parents can do to prevent toddler bathtub injuries:

  • Use slip-resistant mats inside and outside of bathtubs.
  • Install support bars for kids to hold onto when getting into and out of the tub.
  • Never leave toddlers unsupervised in or around the bathtub.
  • Always keep one hand on toddlers in the bathtub at all times.
  • Keep bathroom doors closed at all times.

Is this good advice? How do you prevent your toddler from having accidents in and around the bathtub?

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