How old should your child be to leave alone in the tub?

Katherine - posted on 11/19/2010 ( 282 moms have responded )

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ARGH!!! I just read a post about someone who leaves their 20mo in the tub alone. I don't even leave my 5yo in the tub alone.
What do you think?
How old?

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Jodi - posted on 11/23/2010

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Hmmmm....



Left my 5 1/2 year old in the bath tonight. Her older brother caught her peeing in a margarine container (as opposed to the toilet!!!! And no, the door isn't closed when she baths). So I went to the bathroom to ask her about it. Nope, there was no pee in the container. She promptly advised me she had tipped it in the bath. Charming. I pulled the plug, threw her in the shower, cleaned the tub, and discussed with her how pee does NOT belong in the bath.



Anyway.....there's 5 year olds in the bath for you. Can you trust they didn't pee in it :) Chances are she swallowed a mouthful too. I'm trying not to focus on that.

LaCi - posted on 11/23/2010

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LOL. I'm certainly not hovering over my son while he's in the bath at age 5, unless he's special needs in some way. How many old people died in the bathtub over the course of 20 years?

[deleted account]

Dana - I know you have never suggested calling CPS on a parents who smack ... nor would I call CPS on a parent who leaves a toddler or baby unattended in a bath. But I think it can be very dangerous and I would not take that risk with my own child.

Location/Name Year Sex/Age Notes
Bristol, Avon 1989 M/2 Found face down - unsupervised
Shepherds Bush, London 1989 M/

Sal - posted on 11/22/2010

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i have personally known 4 people who have drowned, and all 4 were in teenage years, between yr 9 (14-15) and about 19-20, and i do not know personaly any young children who have been. one died in the shower when she had a fit, and blocked the plug hole and drowned while still knocked out, one drowned in a puddle on his property after a fit or asthma attack can't specifiaclly remember which it was 21 years ago, one got washed away in food waters and the other hit his head jumping out of a boat, so when is a good age really, just sometimes you have to have faith in your kids, give them the confidence to look after them selves, teach them whats the right thing to do, and really just cross your fingers...a these kids could swim, all knew how to look after them selves just sometimes shit happens and if thats the case what age do you let them grow up, 25, 30??

Charlie - posted on 11/22/2010

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hmmm , I meanwe are not a monority either Erin Just as i used to surf at the beach at 7 on my own so many kids still do when I am there with my boys , I live in a street where there is a beach at both ends and kids go there on their own or with friends all the time.

Sal - posted on 11/22/2010

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i agree with dana, the layout of the house makes a HUGE impact on this debate, in the house we are in now, i have no issue leaving the kids in the tub, the laundry open into the bath, so standing in there folding washing or even popping out to the line which is again just a few steps out the door is fine, not only are they still in ear shot but i can actually see them, the other side of the bath room is another door which open into the lounge/kitchen area, again in a few steps i can get the phone, grab a cuppa, do the ironing, our last house had the bath room at the end of the house and the laundry and kitchen at the other end, so it wasn't in the same line of view, and the line was well out the back so no i didn;t go out, and just another note here just because someone isn't hovering in arms reach of the kids doesn't means they are negletful or endangering their child, it means they have a different approach, my son (almost 15) once said to a mate (i over heard) i can do what i like mum doesn't watch me, boy did he get a shock, not only can i and was i watching him but i could also hear him, i just like to observe my kids while they are relaxed and see what they are capable of, step in when there is a problem but let them try, it alone-

Esther - posted on 11/22/2010

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I leave my almost 3 year old alone in the bath and have for some time. Probably starting at around 2.5 or so. Can't remember exactly. But it's only to walk to his room to get something (right next to the bathroom) or to our room to get a towel I forgot to grab beforehand etc. I've never left the floor that the bathroom is on so he's always within earshot. He has also been taking swimming lessons since he was 9 months old (and is actually quite good at it) so he knows what to do when his face is in the water and he knows he cannot stand up in the bath tub when mommy is not there (and he's not a risk taker), so I feel quite comfortable with that.

[deleted account]

Cathy, I just want to be clear -- I have NEVER suggested calling CPS on someone who spanks their child.

Erin - posted on 11/22/2010

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I used to swim in our backyard pool unattended at 7. Like I said in a previous post (and Loureen too) we used to swim at the beach or surf on our own at that age. There are a lot of variables to this sort of decision.

LaCi - posted on 11/22/2010

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I was concerned about the heat. Although temperature settings could be adjusted appropriately I suppose.

[deleted account]

Most likely but not unheard of to drown in a bathtub.

I've taken our toddler in the hot tub at my in-laws out in Spain. Like a mini heated swimming pool with bubbles. But with two parents there he was perfectly safe.

LaCi - posted on 11/22/2010

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Although I'm, not sure why a toddler is in a hottub/spa. That seems unhealthy, attended or not.

LaCi - posted on 11/22/2010

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"Children aged 1-4 are most likely to drown in hot tubs, spas and swimming pools.
Children aged 5-14 most often drown in swimming pools and open water such as rivers, lakes, dams and canals."

There it is again.

LaCi - posted on 11/22/2010

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Cathy, the other mechanisms for drowning that you just mentioned are more common in children under 1 year of age. Your study is from 0-5. When broken down between children and babies you see a drastic difference. Check the CDC stats.

LaCi - posted on 11/22/2010

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Pools pose severely different problems.
Cold water, for one, can increase risk of drowning. My neighbors still have water in their pool, its 76 today, but it was 30 something two days ago.

Pools covers, the soft kind, fall on one of those and get tangled in it, it's a bitch to get out.

Pools are deep. Kids (small) can't stand up and be out of the water.

Kids running by the pool, fall and hit their head on the edge, unconscious people are much more likely to drown.

Pools are an entirely different ball game.

[deleted account]

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns consumers about hidden drowning hazards for small children in and around the home. Recent data show that a third as many children under age 5 (an average of about 115 annually) drown from other hazards around the home as drown in pools.

Many of these deaths are associated with common household products. For example:

* About two-thirds of the drowning deaths in the home, not including pools, occur in bathtubs. Some of these bathtub drowning deaths happened when children were in bath seats or rings.

* 5-gallon buckets, often used for household chores, pose a serious threat to toddlers. Their tall, straight sides combined with their stability make it nearly impossible for top-heavy infants to free themselves when they topple in headfirst.

* Toilets are often overlooked as a drowning hazard in the home. The typical scenario involves a child under 3-years-old falling headfirst into the toilet.

* Spas and Hot Tubs pose another drowning hazard. A solar cover can allow babies to slip into the water while the cover appears to stay in place, hiding the child.

[deleted account]

I'm not really at this stage yet as Logan's only 1 on Saturday. I see supervised bathing at age 7 a bit excessive, but at the same time if you're that worried about them falling into a pool and put a fence around it, then surely you should exercise the same sort of caution when they're in the bath?

LaCi - posted on 11/22/2010

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"Among children ages 1 to 4 years, most drownings occur in residential swimming pools.6 Most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at the time.7 Barriers, such as pool fencing, can help prevent children from gaining access to the pool area without caregivers’ awareness.8"

[deleted account]

Fatal drowning is the no.1 leading cause of unintentional injury related death. For every child who dies another 4 are treated in the emergency room for water submersion related causes. A staggering number of children under the age of 5 die as a result of being left unattended in the bathtub, 80% are children under 2 ... 40% happen while the child is in the tub with an older sibling.



Yes I consider it neglect ... I wouldn't leave my child in a room of sharp knives unattended nor would I leave him in a bathtub. Maybe it doesn't constitute calling CPS but neither does calling CPS for the occasionally spanked child. I fail to see the difference!

[deleted account]

Nope, not in the same way, Cathy. I feel that a smack is infringing on a child's bodily intregity and is an abuse of a parent's power. How is leaving a child for a few minutes while I fold some laundry, neglectful?



I do see what you're saying but I'm well within ear shot and I take precautions. This is one of those things that I feel unless you know my kid or our situation, the layout of our house etc., no one can comment properly. Come stay with me and observe and then you (general you) can comment.



I don't have to know a person's situation or watch HOW they spank their child. To me, it's not right to physically put your hands on a child to punish them. For me, there's a clear difference, but I do see the point you're trying to make.

LaCi - posted on 11/22/2010

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I'll leave my son in the tub alone for short periods of time, to throw a load of laundry in, little things. My house is extremely small, so I can hear whats going on. He's almost 2.5 now, he knows when to drain the tub, he doesn't stand up in the tub, he knows how to control hot/cold. I think it depends on the kid. I always poke my head in after a few minutes, but I don't hover anymore. I see no need.



It also helps that the tub is very deep, he can't climb out of it (not that he would ever want to) and it's plastic rather than porcelain or whatever else they make those rock hard tubs from.

[deleted account]

Not me Dana. You know your kid and you know your house. Like I said... my house is so small that I can hear every noise in the bathroom from every other room in the house. If there's no noise... you check instantly. I was thinking.... if it only takes 5 seconds to drown then I'd better be IN the tub w/ my kids cuz even in the bathroom I might not be able to pull them out in time.... They're faster and more coordinated than I am. ;)

[deleted account]

Ok, perhaps I shouldn't be admitting this but.....

If you read back through this thead, you'll notice that I leave Roxanne (26 months) unattended for sometimes several minutes at a time and I've been doing so since she was about 18 months. EVERY child is different and I know my child, I trust my child, and as long as I can hear her, we're good.

While I realize that the situation could potentially be dangerous, and I most certainly would not recommend it to anyone, I do not think it's worth calling CPS about.

I guess you can be angry at me too, ladies?!!

[deleted account]

OMG i just checked out that link. she is crazy! go see it and tell me please why no one has really called her on it. sounds like she needs a call to CAS. ALL citizens have a duty to report when a child is placed in dangerous situations/neglected. OMG I AM SO ANGRY!

[deleted account]

kids can totally drown in 8 inches of water. less even. and 4 yr olds as well. never mind drown in it, they can drown so quickly and quietly. matter of moments.

Leah - posted on 11/22/2010

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Wow 8 years old? Seriously? Maddy is almost 4 and I've been comfortable leaving her 'alone' in the tub for about the last 6 months. She's not going to drown in 8 inches of water. Granted by 'alone' I mean floating around upstairs, putting laundry away, making her bed etc, NOT getting in my car going to the store (as I saw in a disturbing YouTube video). Then again, it does depend on your kid. Maddy loves to float on her back in the tub and talk to herself lol and could happily stay in there for an hour if I let her.

[deleted account]

20 months in tub alone...uhm, I think I'll probably say 20 yrs being as overly paranoid as I am (joke...no need to fester unhealthy need for psychiatry when older - I'm sure I'll naturally do that to them in other ways).

Katherine - posted on 11/22/2010

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In March 2009 babies. I have a 20mo. so I'm in that community. Everyone is giving her hell and rightly so.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 11/21/2010

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i was leaving my son alone when he was 5 and now at almost 8 he gets his showers running his slef...and his bath water...i just tell him when to get out and turn the water off...because he will stay as long as he can...if i dont say anything

Corinne - posted on 11/21/2010

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My kids are 4yrs old and 2yrs old and are thrown in together so there's no way they'd be left. I still stick by 8yrs old, yes I'm probably paranoid but I had a fit in the bath when I was little..... :-/

Katherine - posted on 11/21/2010

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Well I wouldn't be in her face, but I'd pop in and make sure she washed properly and make sure she's ok.

Rosie - posted on 11/21/2010

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yeah, grant hasn't let me in there for years, and vinnie is starting to get there at age 6. maybe it's a boy thing??

Jodi - posted on 11/21/2010

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Mine didn't......but it probably was about that age (somewhere 7 or 8) they started to seek privacy and would close the door. So I would always knock before entering.

Rosie - posted on 11/21/2010

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i can almost guarantee your 7 year old, especially a boy, would kick you out!! it's not necessary to be in there at that age, unless of course there's some other issue like cathy has mentioned.

Jodi - posted on 11/21/2010

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I wouldn't supervise a 7 year old either. My boys were bathing without supervision well and truly by then. In fact, they were capable of running it themselves to the right temperature, or starting the shower on their own. Taylah is 5 1/2 and only has minimal supervision now.

Mind you, there have been times I've sent them back because they didn't wash their hair properly or something!!! Not because they can't, just because they are lazy.

Cathy, your situation is different :)

[deleted account]

I have to supervise my 7 year old at the beginning of his bath to make sure he washes properly and get his hair clean but he needs extra support in that area because of his autism. Once I know he's clean I have no problem leaving him to enjoy his bath by himself.
I think most 7 year olds are capable of bathing themselves.

Joanna - posted on 11/21/2010

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Paige is 3 and just recently I've started feeling safe enough to leave her alone for a minute to get the phone or throw clothes in the dryer... However I'm always on the same floor, and it's s small condo so I'm always very closeby (I can see her from my washroom). But to leave her completely unatended, go downstairs, etc.... Not until shes at least 5 or so.

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