Bathtub Injuries - 43,000 Tots Treated Each Year

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, In The News, Research Reveals: Babies, Research Reveals: Big Kids

Toddlers get hurt falling down in the bathtub. Photo: sxc.hu

Babyproofers beware: Drowning isn't the only hazard to be aware of in the bathtub -- 43,000 kids a year are treated in emergency rooms after slipping or falling an a tub or shower. And a new study shows that half of those kids are four years old or younger.

"That is because young children, the ones typically injured in bathtubs and showers, they tend to topple forward," Dr. Gary Smith study author and director of Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio tells MSNBC. "They have a high center of gravity, and they tend to strike their head and their face, and that ends up with injures such as lacerations."

Lacerations account for 60 percent of injuries, with the head most commonly involved. In fact, the study -- which will be published in the August issue of Pediatrics -- found that these kinds of injuries are more common than those from scalding water or being submerged.

Parents know they have to supervise their kids in the tub -- small children are at risk of drowning even with a small amount of water in the tub. But Smith says many of these injuries happen so fast, that even diligent parents can't prevent them: "Unfortunately, adult supervision isn't enough to prevent these injuries. They happen so quickly that a parent simply can't react quickly enough to prevent them."

Instead, parents should use a slip-proof mat in and outside the tub, or even consider installing support bars for kids to pull themselves up on. Dr. Spock's website has some excellent tips for keeping kids safe in the tub.

And while you've got safety on your mind, step out of the bathroom and give the rest of your house a second look. MSNBC reports that 200,000 kids a year are hurt by falling furniture, while computer equipment and even toilet seats also pose a risk.

How do you keep your tots safe in the tub? And are you surprised by the high number of injures that happen there?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.