A tragic and extreme case has thrust the use of baby bath seats into the limelight.
A man and woman from Tenbury Wells have been found guilty of manslaughter after their 13-month-old baby, Kian, was left unsupervised in the bath on a seat for 15 minutes, while the parents entertained a friend elsewhere in the house.
When his father checked on him, he had drowned.
In this case the parents wilfully neglected their child, but it does open up the conversation about the use of bath seats.
RoSPA’s preference is for parents not to use them. Baby bath seats might look helpful, but by leaving your hands free they can provide a false sense of security and yet are by no means a safety device. As babies can drown quickly, quietly, and in only a few centimetres of water, you’re better off without one – supervision really is key.
We are aware of cases where children have been left on a seat while the parent went to answer the phone or door, or to get a towel, thinking that their baby was safely propped up – but of course this is not the case. A 30 second conversation can easily turn into several minutes or even more, and this is all it takes for a child to silently slip into the water and die, or suffer a life-changing brain injury through oxygen starvation.
A bath seat should only be used if the child is within arm’s reach at all times.
Sheila Merrill, public health adviser
Posted: 4/5/2017 4:22:30 PM