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- Childproofing the Bathroom
Childproofing the Bathroom
Keep a fun place from being a dangerous one
Childproofing a room begins with some common-sense approaches. “So much of it doesn’t cost a cent,” says Peter Kerin, owner of Foresight Childproofing Inc., in Minnesota’s Twin Cities area. “It just costs a little bit of effort, a little bit of awareness.”
Since the bathroom is a high-traffic area, your childproofing approach has to be functional. It needs to keep children safe but let other family members use the bathroom with ease.
The best way to protect small children is to make sure they can’t get in unattended. “Until children are starting to be potty trained, they should not have free access to the bathroom,” Kerin says. To limit access, put a hook and eye or sliding bolt on the outside of the door, high above your child’s reach. You can also use a doorknob cover, which is available for both round knobs and lever-style handles and prevents the child from opening the latch. Make sure your child can’t get trapped in the bathroom by installing locks that can be opened from the outside.
Tubs, Toilets, and Sinks
“Water is definitely the main concern in the bathroom,” says Kelly Smith, owner of Totsafe in Macomb, MI, and author of Mommy Can Do It: A Do-It-Herself Guide to Baby-Proofing. Children can be scalded by it, slip on it, or drown in it. The easiest way to prevent scald burns is to set the thermostat on your water heater between 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Test baby’s bathwater on your wrist or use a water thermometer.
To minimize injuries, use a soft spout cover over the faucets. If you have decorative shower curtains, make sure the tiebacks are shorter than 12 inches to prevent strangulation. Watch children closely if you have a walk-in shower with doors that can shatter. “Glass shower doors are an extreme hazard for little kids,” Smith says.
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