Babies and toddlers are a curious lot and you can see this when they begin playing with water during a bath. With this in mind, proper caution should be considered when you have a baby and water in the same place. This is because babies are capable of drowning in even an inch or two of water. For this reason, we have come up with some guidelines to help you know what to do when dealing with your baby and water:
- Never leave your baby unsupervised when there is water around.
- Always check the water temperature. Remember a baby’s skin will scald faster than an adult’s. Use the back of your wrist to check the water temperature if it feels warm then it’s safe. Cold water can on the other hand result in respiratory diseases, as the baby’s small body loses heat very quickly.
- Securing hot water taps especially the hot water dispenser is crucial to prevent curious toddlers and older children from turning them on. With children around, consider even keeping the power off on your water dispenser.
- Always empty buckets, tubs and basins immediately after use and store them upside down
- Keep the toilet lid closed and where you can, use a toilet lid lock to prevent your curious baby from drowning in the toilet
- Keep all underground water sources locked.
- Drain any water on your compound that pools together immediately
- Consider learning CPR
Safety with Hot Water
Keeping your baby safe from scalds is usually at the top of the list for every parent. The following steps should, therefore, be implemented.
- Secure all hot water sources including taps and water dispenser.
- Handle hot substances far away from your baby. Cooling tea or porridge with your child near is not recommended. Always remember your baby could reach out in seconds and tip over the container, scaling themselves.
- Never put sufuria containing hot water or stews on mats on a table or where your baby can reach. They can pull the mat and scald themselves from head to toe.
- Pan handles or sufuria handles should always be directed away from the body or out of reach of children. Older children could flip over the pan or sufuria.
- Always supervise your baby. Never leave a child alone.
Safety when Using Flotation Devices or Aquatic Toys
Again supervision is prudent when using any flotation device or aquatic toy. In this regard, always ensure the following:-
- Remove all aquatic toys from water after use.
- All indoor water pool should be fenced. Remember, your child may be tempted to retrieve an aquatic toy from the pool themselves
- Don’t use aquatic toys that are too small as these may present a choking hazard.
- Be aware of toys that can retain water as they may be a breeding ground for germs. Such toys should be drained and washed after use.
Nothing can replace water adult supervision when dealing with children and water. Always be present or have a responsible adult present.
Please note that development differs from one child to another.
Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.
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Last reviewed March 2019
Sources: todaysparent, safekids, mayoclinic, clevelandclinic