Did you know in Australia on average, 5 children under the age of five drown and 47 are hospitalised due to bathtub drowning incidents each year?
One in four hospitalisations results in permanent injury such as brain damage.
The majority of bathtub drowning deaths in Australia are of children less than 2 years old, who were already in the bathtub.
Bath time is our little one’s introduction to water and as such we should aim for the experience to be a calm, safe and special time. To ensure we are offering a safe and nurturing environment at bath time please remember these helpful tips:
- Never leave your baby or toddler unsupervised.
- Prepare the bath by installing a non-slip mat to help prevent slips and falls and place a spout cover over the tap to protect from bumps. Both of these are available at all major retailers.
- Babies only require 5-10cms of water to bathe, for toddlers fill the water to their waistline (when in a seated position).
- Ensure the bathwater is comfortably warm. Babies and toddlers generally prefer a much cooler bath than you, so firstly swish the water around with your hand to remove any hot spots of water then test that the water is around 37 degrees with a suitable thermometer. Make sure the bathroom itself is also comfortably warm (around 25 degrees) because little ones can get chilled quickly.
- Do not fill the bath whilst your baby is in it. Mainly because the water temperature can change unexpectedly or become too deep; and the sound of fast running water can be unpleasant for an infant.
- Very young children are prone to drowning because they’re top-heavy, set everything you’ll need within arm’s reach – shampoo, soap, cloth, towel, nappy and a change of clothes. If the phone or doorbell rings wrap your child in a towel and take them with you. Be mindful of the distraction a mobile phone can also bring, especially when snapping pictures of your young one. Remember 20 seconds is all it takes for a child to drown.
- Empty the bath completely immediately after each use; a baby can drown in as little as 2.5cms of water.
- Most importantly have fun! Play nursery rhymes in the background, add a disco ball (somewhere safe away from the water), purchase some bath time toys and as your child gets older add goggles into the toy bucket for your child to start getting comfortable and confident wearing goggles.
All these fun additions will help your child enjoy swimming lessons as they grow and become confident in and around water.
For more information go to www.keepwatch.com.au and to register your expression of interest in swim lessons at Eltham Leisure Centre click Here.