When planning your bathroom, safety within the bathroom environment is important. Proximity to water, heat and electricity heightens the number of safety hazards that need to be considered. Bathrooms are often small, confined spaces, so planning and installation of safety features can help reduce the risk of accidents. Other than that, making a habit of keeping hazardous products or sharp objects from curious little hands is also one way to make sure that your bathroom is safe for your child.
Water and condensation cause slippery surfaces. The installation of non-slip mats or surfaces inside the bath, together with the fitting of grab rails at suitable positions could reduce the risk of nasty falls.
There is also a product called TubSafe®, a one step, do-it-yourself treatment that once applied to your bathtub or shower surface (porcelain/enamel bathtubs and ceramic tile showers (including marble) – not for fiberglass) provides an invisible, permanent non-slip surface (not a coating) that can last up to three years.
Hot water can cause burns and the temperature of the water should be considered carefully. Always put the cold water in the bath first. Consider whether there will be any dramatic change in temperature should other water appliances be used around the house.
When small children are being bathed, they should be supervised at all times. Small children should be seated facing away from the taps to deter them playing with the taps and possibly scolding themselves. Set hot water heaters no higher than 54 deg C (120 deg F). A lower water temperature helps ensure safe bathing by reducing the chance of scalding (it takes just three seconds for a child to get burned). Always run the cold tap first when preparing a bath, to reduce the risk of scalds. Don\’t ever leave your child alone in the bath, even for a minute. If the doorbell rings, scoop him up in a towel and take him with you. Bring a portable phone into the bathroom if you feel you can\’t miss a call. Teach your child to stay seated in the bathtub at all times — you\’ll have to repeat this message calmly, many times, before it sticks
A pull cord should be fitted for all light fittings operated from within the bathroom. If a light switch is used, it should be situated outside the bathroom. Any electric heaters should be fitted with fixed and permanent wiring. Electric heaters should be situated out of reach of the bath.
Give careful consideration when using electrical appliances near water. Ensure that appliances are unplugged after use. Should an appliance come into contact with water, always ensure that it is unplugged before touching. Keep hair dryers, curling irons and electric razors away from water.
All electrical outlets in the bathroom should have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), which is a tool that protects you from a dangerous shock when water and electricity come together. The GFCI can be installed by for you.
Ensure that medicine is locked away in a medicine cabinet. Antacids, iron pills, cosmetics, and mouthwash (which has more alcohol than wine) should be stored away. Mark all medication and any out of date medicines should be removed and disposed off. Cleaning product must be placed out-of-reach from children. Store them out of sight in a cupboard and install a childproof lock.
Remove sharp utensils and appliances from the bathroom. Razors, scissors, and blow dryers are better kept in an adult\’s bedroom or locked in a cupboard well out of your child\’s reach. As with the kitchen, the bathroom can be a hazardous place for your child. The following tips should help keep her safe and out of mischief: