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At what age is it ok to leave your kids in the bath unattended?

28 replies

mollipops · 02/08/2002 14:24

This might have been discussed before, but I couldn't find anything specific on it when I did a search so here goes -

I sometimes leave my 2 children aged 5y 9m and 3y 4m in the bath by themselves for short periods. I am always within earshot (not difficult as they are usually making lots of excited noise!) and usually just doing a quick tidy-up or checking on stove/oven etc. They always want to spend ages playing about and I feel frustrated that I could be doing other things instead of just sitting there getting splashed and soaked! Am I a negectful and selfish mum?

What do others do who have children around this age? I keep hearing my dmil's voice in my head, telling me about a friend/relative/friend of a friend who left her kids in the bath to answer the phone, was only gone "for a minute" and when she got back the younger one had drowned. I think they were 4 and almost 2. Horrible story...I don't think I could cope. So in the back of mind there is a niggly worry that something could happen while I am not in the room with them - but having said that, there was an occasion when ds has slipped and I was kneeling right next to the bath, and still couldn't have prevented or foreseen it happening! They have never had any nasty accidents, either with or without me being there, but I guess it's possible isn't it...Am I doing the wrong thing?

OP posts:
Katherine · 24/09/2002 08:57

I leave my two (4 and 2.5) in the bath together while I tidy up the playroom and get their bed things together. I suppose part of me feels that they are safer because if anything happened to one then the other would yell and I can hear everything anyway. If they go quiet I know they are up to something. I do feel guilty about it though. I'm glad to find other mums do the same.

I think we get so little time that we have to sieze these moments. We've just got to make sure we make it as safe as possible. A few months ago my DS tried to climb in the bath as I was lifting DD in. He slipped, banged his head on the base of the toilet and ending up splitting it open. It freaked me out but the thing is I was right there next to him and it still happened. Unfortunatley accidents do happen. We all do our best to prevent them but sometimes I feel its layed on so think we feel guilty about every little thing. You've just got to be sensible and follow your gut feelings.

Tinker · 15/11/2002 19:27

My daughter is curently in the bath shouting out 'Mummy, what does this spell out?' So far:

WideWebWitch · 16/11/2002 03:59


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