Weekend project: Childproofing the bathroom, part 2

Consumer Reports News: October 16, 2009 03:08 AM

You may have seen part 1 of childproofing your bathroom last Friday.

Here are more ways to keep your baby safe in the bathroom:

Prevent scalding water. You can reduce the risk of a burn by setting your water heater at 120 degrees F, or, if you live in an apartment building, ask the superintendent to do so. If the super can’t help, you can purchase an anti-scald device the screws into place between the shower pipe and showerhead. The device senses water temperature and blocks the flow if water becomes too hot. There are also anti-scald valves for the shower and tub that stop the flow by sensing water-pressure changes. These are best for new construction, but a plumber can use them to replace existing valves. To turn down the temperature on a gas water heater, look for the appropriate knob on the outside of the heater. For an electric water heater, twist the temperature control screw you’ll find behind one or two panels.

Place a spout cover over the bathtub faucet. These soft covers can prevent injury if your child accidentally knocks his head on the spout. They also protect your child from a hot spout and sharp edges. Some spout covers are soft plastic in the shape of an animal. Others are inflatable plastic printed with a kid-friendly design.

Buy bath mats and rugs with nonslip bottoms. Many mats can act like banana peels when placed on slippery bathroom floors, a hazard for adults and children alike. Place a nonslip bathmat immediately in front of the shower stall or bathtub. People of any age might sometimes have trouble finding their footing when exiting the bath or shower. And place a slip resistant mat in the shower stall or bathtub to give your little one (and the rest of the family) more grip.

Always empty the tub as soon as bath time is over. It takes only a second for a curious infant, toddler or older child to go fishing for that bath toy and fall into the tub.

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