Children and bathtime: at what age can you leave them unattended? 5 months ago

Children and bathtime: at what age can you leave them unattended?

No mama would ever intentionally leave their baby or toddler alone in a bath.

But as your child grows, it's tough to know at what stage it's 'OK' to dash off to answer the door, check on something, or pop downstairs to grab a towel.

Some experts say children from the age of four or older are fine to be left unattended - others are adamant that six is the minimum.

"Children younger than 6 years old should NOT be left unattended in the bathtub," US health authorities state. "They should also not be in the bathroom alone if there is water in the bathtub.

"Empty the tub after baths. Make sure the tub is empty before you leave the bathroom."

The advice adds: "Older siblings bathing with younger ones should NOT be put in charge of a younger child's safety. There should be an adult in the bathroom during bath time."


“There is no official recommendation and no real upper limit because kids develop at different rates,” Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance, told recently. "Their independence and ability to handle situations vary greatly, so there is no clear answer."

"At age 4, you might be able to reach around to the other side of the bathroom, and then eventually leave them alone for brief periods."

The HSE states constant responsible adult supervision of your child is most important near, with, in, or at the water - inside and outside your home. "These may include, but are not limited to, baths, sinks, toilets, mop buckets, basins, paddling pools, water barrels, garden ponds, water features, and water troughs," it explains.

Parents should also prevent slipping in the tub by using the likes of rubber mat inside the tub. Dry the floor and your child's feet after a bath to prevent slips.

Furthermore, encourage your child to stay seated during their bath by providing bath toys or a bath seat.