Background Drowning is the second leading cause of children’s deaths and accidents due to unintentional injuries worldwide. There are a lot of products to facilitate babies and toddler’s bath, but their risk of injury has been demonstrated. Most items for children are regulated by specific European standards but in the case of these articles for which there is no specific European safety legislation, there is a Decision of the European Commission of January 6, 2010. The main purpose is to analyse the risks associated with the activity of children (from 0 to 48 months) bathing at home by taking into account the child and caregiver’s behaviour and characteristics of the children’s products used.
Methods Search and analysis of scientific data on the epidemiology of childhood unintentional injuries related to the bath activity at home. Study and analysis of information from injuries databases. Experimental and simulation analysis of five bath scenarios for different ages. Development of recommendations. Guide of prevention and safety during children’s bath.
Results Injuries in bathing vary with age, since the risks and circumstances, and therefore the type of unintentional injury, are closely related to the stage of development of the child. Other factors affecting these injuries are: physical environment in the bathroom, behaviour of caregivers, overcrowded housing and new products consumed during bath time.
Conclusions Most children’s injuries that occur during bathing happen to babies from around 6–12 months. Bath-assisting devices causing problems are, in order: infant bath rings, baths or showers for adults and children’s collapsible baths. The main causes of drowning injuries are also prioritised: leaving children unattended in the bath only 1–2 min, tipping over babies′ bath seats, taking the suction cups off the child seats, climbing over the bath chair and falling overboard, or slipping through the leg openings of the chair thus falling in the water and choking on small parts of bath toys.
- Risk assessment
- child safety
- bath activity
- childhood injury and drowning
- bath ring
- bathing aids
- bath-assisting devices
- bath toys
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