Home Safety Tips for Bathing Babies and Loved Ones

Have you ever tried to run a bath for a small child or someone elderly, only to find that you spend far too much time fussing with the hot/cold settings to get just the perfect temperature? Since it is important to keep an eye on temperature settings in your household, especially with those more susceptible to burns, here are a few tips to ensuring your environment is always safe and comfortable:

  • Never leave babies or children unsupervised near sinks and bathtubs.

  • Water should be between 32-38 degrees celsius when bathing babies, children and the elderly - this feels warm to the touch, but not hot.

  • Invest in a small water thermometer - these can usually be found at drugstores or baby speciality stores.

  • Keep the room warm for a better experience when coming in/out of the tub.

For those who own their homes and/or have access to the water heater, we also recommend checking the temperature on your hot water heater. Both gas and electric water heaters have dials that allow you to set the master temperature of the water in your home. These settings can assure that your taps will never go above your maximum temperature - causing less opportunity for little hands to turn on the taps and burn themselves. For more information on where to locate your water heater temperature settings, please contact the maker of your heater (and in most cases, you can Google instructions for your specific device).

Most homes usually have the water heater set to about 60 degrees celsius (or 140F); however, the Canada Safety Council does note that this setting is high enough to cause third-degree burns in most adults in six seconds. As a result, many organizations recommend lowering the setting on your hot water heater by a few degrees, to lessen the chance of burns to people of all ages. To ensure no harmful bacteria are growing in your water, try keeping the master water temperature at about 50-55 degrees celsius. Of course, these temperatures are still hot enough to burn (albeit in a slightly longer timeframe), so please take all necessary precautions and remember to never leave a child or elderly loved one in the bath unattended for any reason, to prevent all types of accidents and burns around water.

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