Twenty years ago, in 2000, the average rate for Under Fives drowning was 12 children per year. Of these, there were an average of 8 (67%) who drowned around the home environment which includes baths, pools, buckets and other vessels. In 2019, this number is down to four with two of these around the home environment. Keep Reading
4. Bathtime Fun
When it comes to bath times the key message is always be present for your child. This means keeping them at arms reach.
Bathing little babies can be scary but confidence grows as your baby grows. Bath time can and should be fun for the whole family, including the little ones. After all, this is their first introduction to water and how you play with your baby at bath time, will provide the foundation for their water confidence in the future.
Here's some advice for bathing babies:
“Let it go’ – No we are not talking about that song from Frozen, we are talking about ignoring ALL distractions such as texting, answering the phone and ignoring the door knocks. Devote all your time to your baby and child.
Equipment – A bathmat prevents your child slipping into the bath. Water Safety New Zealand in conjunction with Plunket distribute to new parents a special branded bathmat which contains a great message on keeping your child safe in the bath. Bath ring, seats and other contraptions are dangerous and should not be used. A child can slip out of a seat or ring and be held under the water by them so don't take the risk.
Prepare for bath time – Grab everything you need before you start. Then you will not be tempted to leave baby to grab something you have missed. Dress your child in the bathroom as well and empty your bath straight away.
Keep them within hand’s reach – The younger the child, it should be skin to skin contact when bathing. As they age be ready to grab at any moment.
Older children – Children under ten should not be used as supervisors. They do not have the maturity to actively closely supervise the younger child and it is a big responsibility to put on their shoulders.
For more information about bathing your baby click here.
Successful bathmat campaign
Water Safety New Zealand has been running a Bathmat Campaign for ten years that distributes free mats through a partnership with Plunket. Read about the results and how a humble bathmat can be an agent of change. Download the report.