Bathtub Basics: NEVER Leave Baby

From 1983 through November 2009, there were 174 reported deaths involving bath seats. In many instances, babies were left alone while bathing. A newly approved federal standard for infant bath seats ensures that new bath seats made after the standard takes effect will be safer. This standard is one step towards saving babies’ lives.

Information gathered by CPSC staff indicates that no baby bath seat currently on the market complies with the new mandatory standard .

This standard, though, is not the full answer. One piece of the new standard requires larger and permanent warning labels alerting parents and caregivers that bath seats are not safety devices and that infants should never be left unattended in a bath seat.

NEVER leave a baby unattended in a bathtub or sink — regardless of whether you choose to use a bath seat or not. That’s a key piece of information necessary to save babies’ lives.

Between 2004 and 2006, 293 children less than five years old drowned in non-pool and spa settings. Of those, 222, or 76 percent, died in bathtub or bathing-related products.

In many of these deaths, caregivers either temporarily left babies alone in the bathtub or they left the baby in the bathtub with another child. In some incidents that CPSC has information on, caregivers may have left the bathroom for just a minute. The phone was ringing and the caregiver went to answer it. Or another child needed the parent, who left baby in the bathtub for just a moment.

Young children can drown quickly, even in small amounts of water. Thus, it’s imperative that you always keep a child within arm’s reach in the bathtub. And never leave a baby or toddler in the tub under the care of another young child.

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