Beware of Bath Time Dangers

07.16.09 New study finds toddlers make up more than half of all tub injuries

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Rub a dub dub, make sure to watch your kids in the tub. A new study from researchers in Ohio found that U.S. children 4 and younger make up more than half of all bathtub- and shower-related injuries, The Los Angeles Times reports. The study, which will appear in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics, adds another worry to parents' list of household dangers.

Every day, an average of 120 U.S. children are hurt in the tub or shower and require treatment at a hospital emergency room, researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital found. And in most cases, parents were watching the children at the time.

The study also said about 60 percent of the injuries were cuts and tears to the skins. The most affected areas were the face and head, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the bath injuries. Researchers said young children tend to topple forward because they have a high center of gravity, the Times reports.

The study's experts encourage the use of nonslip mats inside and outside the bath and shower, plus installing support bars for kids to hold onto when getting in and out of the tub. And of course, an adult should supervise young children at all times during bath time.

Most warnings about bathtub safety focus on making sure the water isn't too hot to scald children and providing enough supervision. Check out our First Time section for the basics of giving baby his first bath.

But not everything about bath time is doom and gloom. Bathing can be fun and blissful, not to mention a special bonding activity between you and your infant. Browse through our tips on how you can turn baby's bath time into a family affair.

Also, don't forget to read up on our top bathing product picks for 2009 in our annual Buyer's Guide!

Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.