Chances are good that you baby-proofed the living room, the kitchen, and the baby's room weeks or even months before you brought your baby home. However, one room is often overlooked – the bathroom. After all, your baby doesn't need spend much time in that room when they're small, and when they reach the crawling stage, you can simply keep the bathroom door shut. But once your baby reaches the toddler years, you're going to take a few more precautions. The Consumer Protection Safety Commission reports that 292 children drowned in bathtubs and 16 children drowned in toilets in a three year timespan. And don't forget the risk of injury from slip and fall accidents – the bathroom is a notoriously slippery place. Take a look at a few ways that you can help protect your child in the bathroom.
Extend Your Bathroom Sink Faucet
By the toddler years, you will want to start teaching your child to do some things independently, like washing their hands after using the bathroom, or brushing their teeth before bed. The problem is that the faucet on a bathroom sink is often too far back for your toddler to comfortably reach at their height. Instead of asking your child to stand on a stool on the slippery bathroom floor, you can attach a faucet extender to your faucet to bring the flow of water closer to your child's reach.
You can buy a faucet extender if you want to, but you can also repurpose an empty bottle of baby lotion to make a do-it-yourself extender. Just cut the top off of the bottle, cut a faucet-sized hole into the bottom of the bottle, and cut the bottle open lengthwise. Smooth the rough edges with sandpaper or steel wool, and attach the extender to your faucet.
Lock Down Your Toilet Lid
Keeping your toddler out of the toilet will become very important as soon as they start to move around on your own. Not only is the toilet bowl a possible drowning hazard, it's also a source of fascination for curious children who want to know what happens when you flush. There's nothing quite like having to pay a plumber to fish out the car keys that your toddler flushed down the toilet.
You can buy all kinds of toilet locks at any baby supply store or hardware store, but these locks can be frustrating for adults as well as children. What's more, not all locks fit on every toilet, and it's easy to buy one or two that you can't even use before finding one that fits yours. Instead, try keeping a roll of packing tape in a convenient spot in the bathroom, perhaps on a high shelf in the medicine cabinet. Tape the lid down each time you use the toilet. The tape is strong enough to keep your toddler out of the toilet, but it's not so difficult to remove that you can't do it in a hurry when your child has a potty emergency.
Pad Your Bathtub Fixtures
Even with you right there next to the bathtub, it's easy for your child to take a tumble in the tub. After all, there is soap and water everywhere, and both you and your baby are slippery. The problem isn't just that your toddler might slip in the tub, it's that your child could slip and hit his or her head on the bathroom faucet or the knobs. However, there's a cheap and easy way to buffer those hard surfaces.
Use polymer clay to line the faucet and the hot and cold water knobs. Polymer clay is perfect for the job. After you let it sit overnight, it becomes rubbery, creating a bumper around the hard or pointy surfaces. And when you no longer need it, it's easy to remove.
Keeping your child safe in the bathroom doesn't have to be expensive. These easy DIY tips and bathroom accessories will keep your baby and your bathroom fixtures safer.