A small plastic card and a few tips might be all you need to keep your baby from being accidentally scaled during bath time.
For Baby Safety Month, Akron Children’s is offering a free bathwater temperature tester. If you would like one, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your address.
Dip the reusable temperature card into the water and a test strip will give the “Cool,” “Warm” or “Too Hot” signal. A child’s bath water should be no more than 100° F, and it should feel warm, never hot, according to Dr. Paul Schuh, a pediatrician at Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics.
“A baby’s skin is more sensitive and thin than adults,” he said, “so we have to be really careful with any type of hot liquid near a young child.”
Dr. Schuh says parents should also test the water using their wrist, elbow or back of the hand as an extra precaution.
New parents have a lot on their minds, so in addition to always testing the water, safety experts suggest either reducing the temperate setting on the hot water heater or installing an anti-scald device on the faucet that causes the water to be turned off if the temperature gets too hot.
“These are small adjustments but can offer much peace of mind in a busy household,” Dr. Schuh said.
Safe Kids Worldwide offers additional tips:
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, on low or the manufacturer’s recommended setting.
- Microwaves can heat unevenly and create hot spots, so avoid using them to heat baby formula or baby milk.
- Heat bottles by placing them in warm water and make sure they have cooled to the appropriate temperature before feeding your baby.
- Don’t hold a baby while carrying anything hot or cooking on the stove.
Mary Mondozzi, RN, MSN, an education coordinator at the Akron Children’s Hospital Paul and Carol David Foundation Burn Institute, shares additional scald injury prevention tips for older, curious children in the following video.