Bath Safety

Image of baby in bath with colourful toys, smiling at the camera

Q. When do bathtub drowning deaths occur?

A. The majority of bathtub drowning deaths occur when there is a break or an interruption to bathing routine; for example, the doorbell rings while a parent is bathing the children. In over 80% ofbathtub drowning deaths, children were already bathing when they drowned. If you have to leave the bathroom for any reason – take your child with you.

Q. Can I leave my child alone for a small amount of time?

A. No, many parents and carers mistakenly believe they will “only be gone a minute” but this is enough time for tragedy to occur.

Q. Why do parents leave their child unsupervised in the bath?

A. Parents left their child unsupervised in the bath because they were:
  • fetching forgotten clothes/towel
  • doing the washing
  • answering/making phone calls
  • doing the dishes
  • attending to self
  • attending to other children

Q. Can you hear your child drown?

A. Parents also mistakenly believe they can listen out and will hear their child drowning. Drowning is swift and silent, drowning is not accompanied by children crying out or splashing. Bath time supervision must involve an adult in the bathroom with the child. An older sibling should never be left with the responsibility of looking after a younger child.

Q. Can you use a bath seat or bathing aid?

A. Yes, however bath seats or bath aids are not substitutes for constant adult supervision. These devices do not prevent children from climbing or falling out of the seat and drowning, and parents should not believe their child is any safer in one of these devices.

Q. What else can I do to help prevent my child from drowning?

A. Make sure you empty the water out of the bath when finished. Learn resuscitation, it is a lifesaving skill and the life you save with this knowledge may be a loved one. Make sure you plan bath time before and have all the necessary items ready.

Bath Time Checklist

  • Before running a bath, have all equipment ready – towels, pyjamas, slippers.
  • If you have a cordless phone, bring the phone into the bathroom. If you do not have a cordless phone, let the phone ring and ignore the doorbell while the children are in the bath.
  • Have a small fold up chair in the bathroom to sit on while the children are in the bath.
  • DO NOT LEAVE the bathroom at all for any reason.
  • After bath time ensure the bath tub is drained immediately and keep the bathroom door closed when not in use.

Heart Beat Club

A mother demonstrating CPR on an infant

In an emergency make sure you know how to react. Learn CPR.

Can you keep their heart beating?

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How to perform Infant CPR

Learn more about Infant CPR at the link below.

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Parents share stories of toddler drowning

Watch the Keep Watch ambassadors share their messages to other parents

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