Child Safety: Bathing

Topic Overview

Many near-drownings and drownings occur in the bathtub. Children are easily burned by hot water. Prevent these bath related injuries by following these recommendations:footnote 1

  • Never leave a baby alone in the bathtub, even for a moment. Always keep the baby within arm's reach.
  • Never leave children in charge of watching their younger siblings while bathing, even if they are in the tub with them. Drowning can occur very quickly and silently.
  • Do not use a bath seat or ring. They are not safe.
  • Set your hot water heater to 49°C (120°F) or less.

Prevent slipping by installing non-slip strips or mats on the bottom of the bathtub. Always drain the water from the tub right away after the bath.



  1. Safe Kids Canada (2011). Make bath time a safe and happy experience for you and your child. Also available online:


Current as of: August 22, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics
Thomas M. Bailey MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
John Pope MD - Pediatrics

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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