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Bath aids for babies

Bath aids for babies

Baby bath aids are used to support infants while in a bath. Baby bath aids help keep a baby’s head up and out of the water, leaving the carer’s hands free to wash the baby. They can ease the strain on the carer’s back.

Baby bath aids are typically used in adult sized baths but can come with or be shaped into baby baths as well. There are a few different types of baby bath aids available including bath seats, cradles, hammocks, recliners, supports and rings. The suitability of these products changes as your baby grows.

The aids are generally made of plastic, rubber or foam, but can also be made of fabric supported on a frame. Some have toys attached to them and some have a base that swivels.

Baby bath aids are not safety devices. 

Babies and young children using bath aids risk drowning if they are not supervised by a competent adult.  Older children cannot properly supervise babies using a bath aid or react quickly to stop them from drowning. Babies and young children have drowned when left unsupervised by an adult in a baby bath aid. This can happen if:

  • the child slips off, rolls off or climbs out of the seat
  • the child becomes trapped in the seat openings
  • another child in the bath plays roughly and pushes the young child out of the bath aid or tips the child over with the bath aid
  • the bath seat tips over.

Drowning can occur within seconds, silently and even if the water is only a few centimetres deep. Infants in particular may not have the neck strength to move their head or face away from the water. Also, if children are revived from near-drowning they may suffer permanent brain injury from lack of oxygen to the brain.

Babies and young children in a bath aid always need the supervision of a competent adult.  Alway keep at least one hand on the baby when using a bath aid to ensure the child does not slip under water.

Mandatory Standards

Mandatory Standards

The mandatory standard for baby bath aids came into effect on 13 May 2005. It covers various labelling requirements for baby bath aids and their packaging.
Recalls

Recalls

Check www.recalls.gov.au for any recalls related to this page.

Myths

It is a myth that you can leave babies and children alone in bath aids.

Statistics

  • 6 babies in Australia under 13 months old drowned in bath aids over the 8 years from 1997 to 2005, with many more almost drowning
  • 104 drownings and 153 near drownings linked to baby bath aids occurred in the United States in between January 1983 and December 2003
    Source: USA Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • 10 young children on average die each year in bath aids in the United States.
    Source: USA Consumer Product Safety Commission

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