EczemaNet Article
Bathtub Safety for Parents

Bathing plays a very important role in treating eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis). Here are some safety tips to help you keep your child safe during bath time. You’ll also find a few tips for treating your child’s skin.

Before the bath

  • Choose a safe place to bathe your child.
    There are many places to bathe a baby or toddler. Safe options are a regular bathtub, baby tub, freestanding plastic tub or basin, or an inflatable tub that fits inside a regular bathtub.

  • Check the temperature of the water.
    Before you place your child in the bath, always check the temperature of the water. The best way to check the temperature is to put your hand and arm in the water before letting the child get in. Children who have atopic dermatitis do best in warm water. Hot water can dry out their skin, which can worsen the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

  • Consider placing a rubber safety mat on the bottom of a tub.
    This will help prevent slips and falls. If you use a mat, be sure to clean it after every use.

  • Do not add oils to the bath.
    This can make the tub slippery and unsafe.

During the bath

  • Always stay close to the tub.
    You should be able to reach out and touch your child the entire time the child is in the tub. Never leave the side of the tub, even for a moment. A child can drown in a few inches of water.

    And, never rely on an older child to supervise a younger child during bath time.

  • If you must leave the room, take your child with you.
    Gently pat your child’s skin dry and wrap the child in the towel.

  • If your baby cannot sit up, support your baby’s back the entire time the baby is in the bath.
    A child can drown in a few inches of water.

  • Never let your child drink bathwater.
    It may contain germs that can make your child sick.

  • Drain the tub as soon as the bath is finished.
    This helps to decrease the risk of drowning.

After the bath

  • Gently pat your child’s skin dry. When a child has atopic dermatitis, the skin is very sensitive. Be very gentle. It’s good to leave a little moisture on the skin.

  • Apply any medicine that your dermatologist prescribed. Most medicines that treat atopic dermatitis should be applied after a bath when the skin is still damp. Be sure to apply the medicine before applying a moisturizer.

  • Apply moisturizer. Apply a thick layer of moisturizer. This should be applied within 3 minutes of getting out of a bath because it will trap moisture in the skin. Be sure to use a moisturizer recommended by your dermatologist. Some moisturizers contain fragrances and other ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin.

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

Kids who have atopic dermatitis tend to have very dry skin. A short, daily bath in warm — never hot — water can add much-needed moisture to the skin.





© American Academy of Dermatology, 2010  All rights reserved.

Page last updated 10/19/10

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