Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Plastics Safety Tips for the Tub!

Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Plastics Safety Tips for the Tub! Image

One of the first things babies learn how to do is to get dirty.  Fortunately, there are lots of easy-to-use plastic products that can help you keep your baby safe in the bathtub.  Here is a list of safety tips that can help make bath time a safer and simpler experience for you and your baby.

Baby Bathtubs (four to six months and younger)

  • Always have an attentive adult in the room – and within arm’s reach of your baby – whenever your child is in the tub.  Collect all of your bath supplies before beginning your baby’s bath. If you have to leave the room, wrap your baby in a towel and bring him with you.
  • Purchase a sturdy plastic baby bathtub that will allow you to bathe your baby in a large sink or an adult-sized bathtub if need be.  Many parents prefer using a baby tub in the sink so they won’t have to kneel or lean over as much as they would if they were using it in an adult-sized bathtub.
  • As with any product, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Play it safe by setting the water heater in your home to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
  • To begin a bath, fill the baby tub with no more than two inches of warm (not hot) water and test with your wrist or elbow before placing your child in the tub.  Do not add water while your child is in the tub.
  • Use bathing thermometers or plastic water monitors to help you keep the water temperature at a safe and comfortable temperature.
  • If you use a portable baby bathtub, do not carry the tub with your baby in it.

Why are Plastics Great for Bath Time?
Plastics are extremely versatile materials that can be designed with a wide range of properties. For example, plastic tubs and bathing seats can be strong enough to support your baby yet lightweight for easy lifting and storage. Plastics also can be designed to be waterproof, skid resistant, non-porous for quick drying, and infused with air, so they float. Flexible foam plastic products can help protect babies from hard surfaces and corners.

Bathing Seats and Bath Rings (four to six months and up)

  • When your baby can sit upright by herself (usually at about six months), she will be ready to move from her baby tub to a bathing seat or bath ring, both of which may be used in an adult-sized bathtub.  These devices are designed to help parents keep a slippery baby in an upright position – but are not intended as a substitute for your constant supervision.  Again, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, never leave the room while your baby is in the tub, and keep your baby within arm’s reach.
  • Place bath seats or rings away from faucets so you or your baby won’t accidentally change the temperature.
  • Fill the tub with no more than two inches of warm (not hot) water and test with your wrist or elbow before placing baby in the tub.  A bathing thermometer or water monitor can help you keep the water temperature comfortable, and plastic monitors are available in lots of fun shapes.
  • Protect your baby’s head from hard fixtures with soft plastic faucet covers that come in fun shapes and colors.
  • If your children are beyond the point of using a bathing seat or bath ring, consider lining the bathtub with non-slip mats.  But be careful. Experts warn not to use baby bathtubs, bathing seats or bath rings with nonskid surfaces because the suction cups will not adhere to the bathtub and can detach unexpectedly.

Try These Water Toys for Bath Time Safety and Fun!

  • Plastic dolls, animals and boats
  • Foam shapes or kitchen sponges cut into cool shapes
  • Suction toys that can stick to tiles
  • Emptied and cleaned plastic squeeze bottles and small plastic containers
  • Squirt toys
  • Plastic measuring cups

Resources and Links

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