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Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Baby's Bath Water - Too Hot or Too Cold

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By Heather Andrews

Most adults enjoy a hot bath or even a trip to the Jacuzzi; however that would not be the case for an infant or a toddler as their skin is thinner than those of older children and adults. The density of their skin makes them sensitive and fragile to both hot and cold temperatures. Hot bath water can be very dangerous and actually scald your baby or turn them off from bathing all together.

baby in bathtub

There are a couple of methods for testing a baby’s bath water prior to bathing them. One method to testing that the water is not too hot for your child is by testing the comfort of the water with your forearm or wrist. The water should be warm but not hot to the touch. Another method for testing the bath water temperature would be by using a bath thermometer that is made for testing water temperatures. The temperature of the water should read in the range of 90 degrees Fahrenheit up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, anything higher may be dangerous or uncomfortable to your baby.

Although most homes made after the mid-1980s are equipped with a safety feature built into the water heater tank that keeps the water from reaching scalding temperatures, it doesn’t mean that your bath water can’t get too hot for an infant. Monitor the temperature of the water as it fills in the tub. Also remember to check the water temperature at the surface and at the bottom of the bathtub as this can vary by several degrees.

Beyond the dangers of hot water, colder temperature can also make your baby cringe at the thought of bath time. Shivers and chills can cause the baby to become unhappy and very unconformable. Though there are no immediate dangers with colder temperature baths, they can however bring a higher risk of your baby catching a cold, the flu or even pneumonia. Be aware of how long your baby has been playing in the tub and if the water temperature is falling.

Bath time should be a fun and enjoyable experience for any child. Being prepared with the correct bathing tools and avoiding the hazards of bath time can produce a great bonding experience for both you and your precious baby!

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