- Test the water before bathing baby. Use a bath thermometer to be sure you're at 90 to 100 degrees F., or stick in your elbow (it's more sensitive than your hand). The water should be comfortably warm.
- Stay vigilant! Don't let anything interrupt bathtime. The phone's ringing, or someone's at the door? Ignore it. It only takes a second for a tragedy to occur when water is involved, so stay within arm's reach and forget the outside world.
- Don't use a baby bath seat. It might seem like a good way to hold a slippery baby in the big tub, but these seats can tip over -- they've been blamed for about 120 drownings and 160 injuries since 1983. If you feel like baby's not safe in the big tub, use a small baby tub.
- Make sure no one absent-mindedly leaves a razor in the shower or disposes of razor blades or medicines in the bathroom wastebasket. Also, harmless-seeming items such as mouthwash and bath oil can be deadly if ingested in large quantities. Keep them in high, locked cabinets.
- When your child is old enough to monkey with the tub or sink faucet, you'll want to prevent accidental scalds. Make sure the water heater for your house or apartment building is set to go no higher than 120 degrees F.
For a huge selection of outlet covers, corner guards, toilet locks, and things you've maybe never even thought of, see the safety aisle of Babies "R" Us. Childproofing supplies are also sold by mass merchants and online at onestepahead.com.