How To Keep Your Bathroom Safe For Children

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It's important for parents to keep their bathrooms safe for their children. While activities like bath time may be fun for babies and young children, it could quickly turn dangerous if parents aren't supervising to ensure there are no safety risks at play. Making sure the bath water isn't too hot or too cold during bath time is a start to applying these safety measures in the bathroom. 

As Kelly Rogers Interiors points out, parents can incorporate certain details to make it more accommodating to their children. Simple adjustments to the bathroom, such as having clearly marked hot and cold nobs for the faucet, so children don't burn themselves, installing double sconce lights to see better, and having durable tile or wood paneled flooring that's easy to clean are some steps to take to make the bathroom safer. Additionally, parents should have a high threshold tub so the child doesn't fall over, and so the sides can provide more protection. Keep any bath supplies within reach, and always stay with the child when their in the bathroom. Making the bathrooms in the home safe for children isn't difficult, and can be accomplished by following these steps.

Use step stools

Since young children are shorter than older children and adults, they need more assistance reaching the counter and sink. Therefore, have a few step stools on hand for the child, as recommended by My Step Stool. Some step stools can convert into chairs and make it easier for the child to sit down and rest for a minute in the bathroom, which is convenient for when waiting for dad to shave or for mom to finish doing her makeup. Single step stools are a popular preference because they come in a variety of shapes and colors. They're also easy to move from room to room. Double step stools usually have a top part with hidden storage underneath. With these kinds of stools, children could put their bath toys inside for later usage.

When searching for the right stool to purchase, find one that has grips on the surface to prevent young children from slipping, like this one from iLove on Amazon. The stool should be pushed up against the sink's counter, so the child doesn't have to lean forward and accidentally hurt themselves. Parents should test them first to make sure it's not too high or too low for their child to use. There are also adjustable step stools on the market that could be used as the child ages and grows. 

Have toothbrush holders

Many parents may not pay too much attention to where their children place their toothbrushes, but having a proper place to put them is important in regards to cleanliness, as noted by Chicago Tribune. Bacteria spreads around bathroom countertops, as does dander, dust, and dirt. Since children and adults have a plethora of hygiene items on top of the countertops, keeping toothbrushes in a toothbrush holder cuts back on clutter. You can further reduce clutter on countertops by throwing away any expired makeup, lotions, or hand soaps. Doing so will also prevent young children from getting into products they shouldn't be using, especially because hygiene items made for adults could be too harsh on children's delicate skin.

Children love character-inspired accessories, especially fantastical creatures and animal figures. This animal themed wall mount toothbrush holder set from Etsy will get children excited about brushing their teeth — plus, they free up countertop space! Buy toothbrush holders that have compartments that are big enough to fit toothpaste, dental floss, and other oral hygiene products, that way you're organized and know where everything is. And be sure to find toothbrush holders that allow for open ventilation, so they can dry properly. 

Purchase non-slip bath mats and rugs

Be aware of slippery floors in the bathroom. When bathtub water is splashed all over the floor, children could fall and become seriously injured. To prevent falls, purchase non-slip bath mats and rugs, as said by Contractors From Hell. Measure the space in the bathroom and purchase a non-slip mat that's big enough, because too small of one will not only look out of place, but defeat the purpose. Look for absorbent mats that have suction cups or rubber on the bottom, and also ones that are anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. Make sure the mat has fast drying properties to soak up moisture, such as those made from cotton. Of course, you also want your mat to be soft, comfortable, and fit into the aesthetic you want for the bathrooms. There are a variety of colors and designs to choose from at home décor stores.

To prevent regular bathroom mats from slipping, place a shelf liner between the floor and mat or rug (via One Good Thing). Rubber backed mats can deteriorate after multiple washes, so some people prefer to use regular rugs with an added liner. From the roll of shelf liner, cut a piece that's 2/3 of the size of the mat. Place the mat on top of the shelf liner in the bathroom, and it will stay in place. One benefit about shelf liners is that they're anti-microbial, so mold won't be an issue. 

Get a lock for the toilet

Toddlers are curious, and that could lead them to play with the toilet. Though it's rare, there have been cases where young children have drowned in toilet accidents. To prevent accidental drownings and further baby proof your home, it's best to purchase a toilet lock that will dissuade a child's need to mess with bacterial filled toilet water, per Lucie's List. One kind of toilet lock on the market is the Swing Shut Toilet Lock. These kinds of locks sit on top of the lid and remain shut unless the mechanism is unhitched.

Basic lid locks slide into the side of the toilet seat to keep the lid shut. To prevent young children from sneaking into the bathroom to constantly flush the toilet, invest in a toilet handle lock. These are easy to install and are simply placed under the toilet's handle. Parents who have dealt with young children who unroll whole rolls of toilet paper should grab a hair tie or rubber band to wrap around the toilet paper. Of course, these are temporary solutions, and parents should assist young children in learning how to use the bathroom to help them with proper toilet etiquette. Doing so will cut back on messes. 

Cut down on clutter

Bathrooms tend to look smaller with too much clutter, especially when the clutter comes from children's messes and toys. One way to combat clutter in the bathroom is to install floating shelves, as stated by Overstock. Use floating shelves in the bathroom to hold anything from toilet paper to cleaning products. Another way to organize bathroom items is to purchase over the toilet storage racks, which are great for feminine hygiene products and bathroom refresher sprays, and they also keep everything out of reach for small children.

Families can't go wrong with wicker and wire baskets. Keep one under the bathroom sink or near the toilet for easy access. Baskets are an effortless way to store magazines, children's books, and children's bath toys. This will make it easier for both parents and children to have things needed for bathing in front of them without having to leave the child to find anything missing. For parents with multiple children, they should purchase color coordinating cups and toothbrushes with a countertop holder to keep everything organized. Everything is more enjoyable, and safer, when its clutter-free. 

Find a faucet cover

Due to their high energy and need for movement, toddlers can sometimes hurt themselves just by moving around. Bath tub faucet covers can prevent scrapes and bumps, as recommended by Green Active Family. Find bath tub faucet covers that are firm and flexible as they'll provide more protection and go on easier. It's also important to find reputable bath supplies brands that sell bath tub faucet covers that aren't made of harmful materials. Before heading off to a bed and bathroom accessories store, just be sure to measure the bath tub faucet to get an idea of how big the cover should be.

For parents who have many children, investing in a bath tub faucet cover that's guaranteed to be durable and long lasting will benefit the family for years to come. Clean bath tub faucet covers regularly with soap and water to prevent mold, as they are in a high-moisture area. Lastly, to make it enjoyable for children, choose a fun one like this colorful fish from Walmart. Who said safety can't be fun?

Don't overcrowd the tub with toys

To make the bathing experience better for your children, it's best to not overcrowd the bath tub with toys. Too many toys becomes hectic, and leaves no space for the children to wash themselves properly. According to One Crazy House, a solution for organizing toys would be to hang baskets from Command hooks adhered to the bathroom walls. Each child in the household could have their own specialized basket for their toys. A hanging fruit basket also totally works, and it'll allow for easy drainage too. 

As seen on Make It & Love It, mesh bags are another way to store bath toys — simply attach it to the shower wall with suction cup hooks. For those who want more pizazz, check out local home goods stores to spot storage cubes. These types of cubes come in a variety of fabrics, sizes, and colors — pick one that matches the bathroom's décor. 

Keep towels organized and within reach

Find unique ways to keep bath towels organized so little ones have them nearby. Buy wine racks to house towels, as noted by Pottery Barn. Towels and washcloths could be rolled neatly to fit inside of wine racks, and in small bathrooms, wine racks can be put on the back of the bathroom door. Mini ladders are another way to keep towels and washcloths close by. Hang towels on ladder rungs, or fold them to fit inside each rung — just be sure the ladder is secure and can't be easily knocked over.

If you're open to a bigger project, add cabinets in the bathroom for extra towel storage. Paint the cabinets to match the bathroom walls, or think of a fun accent color that pops nicely. Or, for a less expensive option, check secondhand shops for record crates. Magazine racks also provide space for towels, and for easy mobility, look into rolling carts that can hold not only towels, but all other bathroom supplies and accessories. This is a great opportunity to teach children to put away and fold towels that are clean from the wash, and show them how to place dirty or wet towels in hampers. 

Have proper lighting

Prevent stumbles and falls in the bathroom by choosing the perfect lights that are appropriate for children's eyesight. Overhead ceiling lights act as a statement on their own, and pendant lights come in all different forms, as stated by Lighting New York. You can even go fancy by installing a blinged-out chandelier lamp in the middle of the bathroom ceiling, if that's your vibe. Ceiling light fans are another plausible idea to air out foul smells and stagnant moisture.

For parents who have young children learning to use the toilet, purchase an LED toilet light (via Mobile Fun). Check out LED toilet lights that produce an assortment of colors, which will likely make children feel more comfortable when toilet training. These lights are also great because they allow family members to use the bathroom at night without having to turn on a brighter, overhead light. Having additional lights on the toilet will enable children to feel more comfortable with their toilet training, and not be afraid of the dark during late night bathroom trips. 

Install safety bars

Though some people may assume that safety bars are only needed for seniors, parents should think about installing them in their showers for their children to prevent falls. There are plenty of safety bars to choose from, per GetSafe. Straight grab bars come in all lengths and are the most common type of bathroom safety bar. Curved grab bars are typically shaped like an "S," and multi-purpose safety bars typically come with added features, such as a shelf or towel rack. Depending on how old or tall the children are, parents need to be mindful of how high they install the grab bars inside of a bath or shower. Use a stud finder to find an area on the wall to decide where to install the bar, and go from there.

By installing shower grab bars, adults and children can clean themselves without restrictions (via Fire Star Rated). Safety bars provide extra leverage to enable children to pull themselves up and to better wash themselves. Since toddlers are still learning how to walk and steady their balance, grabbing onto a bar to wash themselves makes them feel independent, while still providing ample security.

Keep harmful chemicals out of the bathroom

While it's important to clean the bathroom regularly, parents need to be aware of the harmful chemicals in cleaning products, as said by Baby Bath Moments. Two commonly used products are bleach and ammonia. While bleach is used to remove tough stains and ammonia gets rid of bacterial agents, both could be extremely deadly when ingested by curious children. Be aware of drain cleaners because they could contain bleach as well. Though air fresheners are great to alleviate foul smells, some contain phenol and formaldehyde — look for air fresheners that are made from natural ingredients instead. Scouring powders contain chlorine, and cause respiratory irritation within the lungs.

If a child does accidentally ingest any toxic cleaning products, or even shampoos and soaps, parents should call Poison Control right away. It's always better to be safe than sorry! All in all, use common sense and keep the bathroom safe by following basic safety precautions, storing harmful products in cabinets, cleaning messes like water on the floor, and staying organized.