METRO PLUS

Keep your child safe

BEWARE Take precautions to safeguard your kids, especially when they're in the bathtub

BEWARE Take precautions to safeguard your kids, especially when they're in the bathtub  

Parents are often warned not to leave their young children alone in a bathtub. But even when grownups are in the room there can be dangers, a new study finds. Writing in the journal Clinical Paediatrics, researchers from the Columbus Children's Hospital in Ohio said that when they looked at bathtub injuries over three years, falls caused by slipping were the most common. And four out of five times, an adult was present. The researchers examined cases involving more than 200 patients ages 4 months to 16 years. They found that more than 80 per cent of the cases involved falls, with cuts being the most common injury, generally to the head or face.

The researchers tracked bathtub-injury cases that were handled by a paediatric trauma centre and contacted the families for more information about what had happened.

"Increased supervision alone will not be sufficient to prevent these injuries, given that adult supervision is already present in most cases," the authors wrote. Instead, they said, tub manufacturers should take a new look at their safety standards and consider, among other changes, using surfaces that create more friction. Tub safety, they said, should be demonstrated under real-world conditions when, for example, soap is being used.

Moreover, the study said: "What is slip-resistant for an adult with a long stride may not be slip-resistant for a child with a very short stride... We tell parents the way to prevent injury is just to watch your kids carefully, but the best parent in the world isn't going to be able to anticipate every move."

The New York Times

Recommended for you