A time for splish splashing, baby’s bath can be quite the juggling act. To make bath time as safe as possible, the Consumer Product Safety Commission approved a new federal standard for infant bath tubs last week.
The new standard, designed to strengthen ASTM International’s voluntary standards, includes several new requirements, such as static load testing, latching and locking mechanisms, and drowning and fall warnings. Infant tubs are used to hold water and be placed in “an adult bath tub, sink, or on top of other surfaces to provide support or containment, or both, for an infant in a reclining, sitting, or standing position during bathing by a caregiver.”
The CPSC said it received reports of 247 incidents involving infant tubs between January 2004 and December 2015. Of those incidents, 31 were fatal and 32 others involved an injury to the infant during the use of the product. Injuries included drowning or near drowning incidents because the child was left alone in the tub, sharp edges causing lacerations, product failures, entrapment issues, slippery tub surface issues and mold/allergy issues.
The Commission voted unanimously to approve the standard on March 24, and the new mandatory infant bath tub standard will take effect six months after the final rule is published in the Federal Register. The CPSC advises caregivers to follow these safety tips for bathing infants:
- Never leave young children alone or under the care of another young child, even for a moment, near any water.
- Always keep a young child in a bathtub within arm’s reach. If you must leave, take the child with you.
- Learn CPR.