As soon as your first baby became mobile, you wrapped all your furniture in safety padding, shoved covers into all your outlets and secured doors and drawers with latches even you struggle to open. Yet, there is undoubtedly one room in your house that you have overlooked: the bathroom.
Many homeowners forget that the bathroom is a space in their home; you typically have a very specific purpose to use the bathroom, and then you ignore the space at nearly all other times. Worse, many new parents mistakenly believe that their little ones will always be under supervision in the bathroom, so there’s no need to install safety precautions. Yet, toddlers don’t understand that the bathroom isn’t a fun space. They want to crawl around and explore, which is especially dangerous in a room filled with toxic chemicals, hard surfaces, breakable materials and other hazards.
Fortunately, there are more than a few ways you can make bathrooms toddler- and kid-safe, so there’s no need to fret. Just read these tips, apply them in your own space, and thrive:
Remove Anything Toxic
It might be convenient to leave in the bathroom the stuff you use in the bathroom, but you best believe your kids will find it — and if they’re young enough, they might try to eat it. It’s smarter and safer to relocate anything toxic, like bathroom cleaners and extra soaps, to a high shelf in a laundry room or storage closet.
Secure the Toilet Seat
Kids could splash in water all day, and they will if you don’t keep your toilet seat cover down and locked. Worse, young children can even drown in the toilet if they manage to fall in. There are a number of easy-to-use toilet seat locks, which might add a few seconds to your bathroom trips but will ensure your toilet remains toddler-free until they are old enough to use the porcelain throne responsibly.
Add a Handle in the Tub
You often see extra handles affixed in showers and tubs used by old people, but young kids can make great use of a tub handle, too. Having a handle within reach will help them stand up and step over the tub wall without slipping and sliding. You can find more than a few easy-to-install handles that don’t damage your tile and can travel with you when you visit Grandma’s or go on vacation.
Lay Slip-proof Flooring
A handle is well and good, but an even better solution for preventing dangerous slips is slip-proof flooring. In the tub, you can attach those grippy mats or stickers that provide more traction. If you are considering redoing your bathrooms, you might cover them in non-slip flooring. Vinyl flooring options look not unlike hardwood, are water-resistant and are safe for kids and pets alike. There are also clear coatings you can paint on tile or wood, but these can wear off over time and thus aren’t ideal.
Give Yourself a Tub Guard
Tub guards wrap around the edge of the tub, providing a grippy, cushioned surface. This is beneficial for your kids, who are at a lower risk of knocking their noggins on the hard tub edge, but it is also useful for parents, who can rest their arms and elbows more comfortably during bath time. The guard is made of non-toxic vinyl, meaning it is waterproof and easy to clean.
Choose Stronger Countertops
Sometimes you are protecting your kids from the bathroom; other times, you are protecting your bathroom from your kids. Countertops take a beating from little ones, so you should strive to have the strongest ones possible to resist cracks, stains and worse. If you are redoing your bathroom, opt for quartz counters, which are scratch- and stain-resistant and look as luxurious as granite.
Use a Tub Gate
Kids stick their tiny fingers everywhere, and in the tub, this can be dangerous. You don’t want your little one messing with the tub faucets and drain; I have needed to call plumbers near me on several occasions, when toys became lodged in faucets and pipes during bath time. A tub gate separates the area of the tub that kids are allowed to be in from the functional elements of the tub, so no funny plumbing business occurs.
Install Anti-scald Devices
If your water heater is a bit overactive, you should worry about your kiddos getting burned by hot water. Anti-scald devices installed on faucets provide another measure of control on water temperature by restricting how much hot water can flow.
Your kids can get into your bathroom as easily as they can get into other rooms, and given the risks of poisoning, drowning, slipping and more, the bathroom poses a major threat. Keep your kids alive and thriving by removing and installing these safety precautions today.