They’re the light of your life and the bane of your bathroom. Whether they’re making messes or putting themselves in dangerous situations, toddlers just can’t help themselves when it comes to exploring new places, so it’ll be up to you to baby proof your bathroom. Here are just a few tips for eliminating hazards and improving overall safety.
Close the Lid
Most toddlers have done it at least once—they find a rubber ducky or a binky or a blankie and rush to see what will happen when they flush it down the toilet. An open or easy to open toilet lid makes this an inherent risk. However, there’s more than one danger to an open toilet. If toddlers try to peer inside and lose their balance, they could topple forward into the water.
Tragically, more than a dozen children under the age of five have drowned in everyday household toilets because it takes less than an inch of water for drowning to occur. Do yourself a favor and install a toilet lock (which can be purchased at many national chains or online retailers) on your commode to be safe.
Say “No” to Scalding Water
If your toddler likes to turn on the tap, you might want to consider putting anti-scald technology in your sinks, showers and tubs. The cheapest option is to install a series of pressure-balanced valves that will regulate changes in water pressure. If you want to be thorough, you can look into thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs) that will automatically mix hot and cold water to manageable temperatures. If you’re scared of DIYing it, look into plumbing services to find a professional.
Hide Your Cleaners
The kitchen and the bathroom share a lot of risks for toddler-aged children, including the irresistible siren song of the cabinet under the sink. If you have things like bleach and toilet bowl cleaners in there, you’ll need to make sure that the cabinets have been locked, latched, sealed or cinched. Magnetic locks are one of the most popular options for bathrooms, but you can also invest in door lever locks or sliding U-shaped locks.
Beware Electrical Shocks
Curious fingers often find their way into wall outlets, and this can have severe consequences in a wet bathroom. For your baby’s safety, make a habit out of unplugging all of your curlers and hair dryers when not in use. You might also want to install ground-fault circuit interrupters in your bathroom; they can detect unnatural surges and prevent the current from reaching the wall. Many contemporary homes have these circuit interrupters already installed, but you might need to buy your own if you live in an older building. When haircare appliances aren’t in use, keep them safely stored away behind a locked door or cabinet.
These are just a few tips for bathroom safety with a toddler. As you can see, it’s a lot more complicated than just locking up the medicine cabinet and putting down some non-slip mats, so take your time with your babyproofing. Do your research and get it right to keep your child safe.