Safe bath temperature for babies and children: what you need to know
A safe bath temperature for babies and children is between 37°C and 38°C.
Scalds can happen in seconds if bath water is too hot. Many scalds happen in the bathroom when:
- a child is placed in a dangerously hot bath
- a child is already in the water and puts a hand or foot under running hot water
- water in the bath hasn’t been swirled, so there are hot and cold areas
- children turn on the taps themselves.
A child can be severely scalded in under a second when the temperature of water coming out of your taps is around 65°C. When the water coming out of your taps is at a maximum of 50°C, it’s much safer. At this temperature, it takes five minutes to severely scald a child.
Tips for safe baby bath temperature
Here are some simple tips for preventing scalds in the bath:
- Check the bath temperature using a thermometer. You could also test the temperature by putting your arm in. If your skin goes red, the water is too hot for your child.
- Ensure that the water coming out of your taps is at a maximum of 50°C. This is a low-risk temperature for scalds. Talk to your heater manufacturer, local gas supplier, plumber or gasfitter about a temperature control device for your hot water system.
- Install anti-scald devices on taps and shower outlets. These are available from hardware and safety product shops.
- Consider child-resistant taps or tap guards in the bath.
- Turn on the cold water first, then the hot to get the right bath temperature for your child. When turning the water off, turn off the hot water first so the cold water can run through the tap and cool it down.
Heated water needs to be stored at above 60°C to prevent the formation of Legionella bacteria. This is why it’s good to have a temperature control device fitted to lower the temperature of the water coming out of your taps.