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Baby bath aid safety

Buying

  • When choosing a baby bath aid, check that the warning label about safe use is clearly displayed and firmly attached on the product. It should not come off easily and should be able to withstand warm soapy water for long periods of time. The label should look something like this:

Label warning that children have drowned while using bath aids. This is not a safety device.

  • Check that your child fits properly into the bath aid. 
  • Check that there are no sharp edges or points on the bath aid to prevent your child being injured when using it.
  • If you are considering a second-hand baby bath aid, it may not comply with the current mandatory safety standard and may not carry a safety warning. Only buy one with a clearly visible safety warning to remind any adult bathing the child to never leave it unsupervised in case it drowns.
  • Toys attached to bath aids should not be small enough or have removable parts small enough, to fit in a baby or toddler’s mouth. Children may try to chew on or swallow these and choke. See Toys for children under three for more information.

Safe use

  • Baby bath aids are not safety devices. Always supervise children in a bath. Children can drown in only centimetres of water and it only takes a few seconds for it to happen.
  • Never leave a young child in the bath in the care of an older sibling. Older children may not be aware enough of drowning hazards, know whether a baby or young child is drowning, or know how to revive them. A competent adult must always supervise children in and around water.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • Don’t use a baby bath seat with suction cups in a bath with an uneven or slip-resistant base, or where the enamel is wornthe suction cups will not stick to the bath surface.
  • Do not attempt other tasks while bathing your childfor instance:
    • If the phone rings, ignore itif the call is important the caller will leave a message or try again later.
    • Do not leave food cooking, as you will probably need to check on it even if it’s slow cooking. Always turn off stoves, ovens, microwaves and other cooking or heat-making appliances before you put your child in the bath.
    • Only answer the front door if you take the child out of the bath and take it with you.
    • If you’re expecting an urgent phone call or have to attend to something very important, take the child with you.
  • Prepare the child’s clothes and towel before running a bath so that you don’t have to leave it unsupervised.
  • Do not remove the warning label.
  • Don’t keep baby bath aids when their warning labels have faded or peeled off. The next person using the bath aid may not realise the danger and may leave a child inside unsupervised and at risk of drowning.
  • Know how to perform resuscitation and CPR for infants. You can contact the Royal Life Saving Society Australia for information about infant resuscitation training.

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