Safety Saturday: Bath Seats

Summer is a time for exploring, creating and enjoying time away from the schedule. Running between the playground and the pool, with family parties and beach trips in between can get particularly messy. After each day’s activity, it’s a quick bedtime routine that often includes a bath.  If it’s not already the second (or third) bath of the day, you can still be confident that your little monster’s body will be clean for about 20 seconds until they get into something.  With some simple tips below, parents and caregivers can regain some sense of control by keeping little ones safe in their bath seats.

  1. When at all possible, avoid purchasing a used bath seat.  Safety standards are updated regularly, which is especially true for bath seats, as a federal standard was put into place in 2010 that made requirements for safety issues such as leg openings and tip-overs stricter.
  2. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to determine when it is appropriate to start using a bath seat.  Bath seats have different weight limits and you should move from an infant bath tub to a bath seat when your baby can sit unassisted.  Many bath seats should no longer be used once baby reaches the milestone of standing up unassisted.
  3. Make sure your bath seat is on a smooth, hard surface.  Check for buildup of soap or other slippery threats on the bottom of the bath seat before putting in the tub.  As you fill the tub, test the water temperature.  Always run your hand through the water to ensure there are no hot spots.
  4. Make sure suction cups are secure.  When you push down on the seat and then shift left or right, nothing should move or pop out of place.
  5. Set up everything that you will need, towel included, within arm’s reach.  Once you put your baby in the bath seat, do not leave them unattended.  Babies and toddlers can drown in less than two inches of water.  Never run away to quickly grab something – it’s simply not worth the risk.  Drain the bathtub immediately after each use.

Look for the Seal: In the market for a new bath seat?  Check out this list of certified bath seats that are part of the JPMA Certification Program.  The seal exemplifies a manufacturer’s commitment to safety and proves that a manufacturer has tested their product annually to an established standard.  Manufacturers participating in the certification program are held to high standards and are obligated to meet those principles with every product.