If you’re renovating a bathroom for your children, keep these bathroom safety ideas in mind.
Anyone who has watched a 4-year-old try to wash their hands knows how difficult it can be as a kid in an adult-size world. But it doesn’t take much to design a child-friendly bathroom that’s safe, comfortable and attractive.
Here are a few things to consider before remodeling a bathroom for little ones.
1. Consider product height and sizing
It should be easy for a child to use everything in the bathroom.
“There are kid’s toilets that are 12 inches off the floor,” says Louie Delaware, advanced certified professional childproofer, author of How to Childproof Your Home and founder of the Living in Place Institute. They’re easier for a child to use, and “you can take it out down the road,” Delaware says. “There’s no difference in plumbing or hook up.”
You can also install lower counters. Standard height for vanities is 32 inches. Why not lower it for kids?
“You want them to be able to reach the faucet and see what they’re doing so they can clean their hands,” Delaware says. “Even with a stool, they can’t necessarily get their arms over the bowl and into the water to see what they’re doing.” Plus, having a stool in the bathroom can be a tripping hazard.
2. Find the right faucet
New faucet technology means there are great options for any budget.
Delaware suggests a single-lever faucet. “It’s easy for kids to control temperature and move the lever back and forth,” he says. “And they usually have grimy hands. With a lever, they can push up from the bottom, and after they’ve washed, they push down from the top with a clean hand so they’re not contaminating the faucet.”
Now you can even find faucets with LED lights that show whether the water is too hot.
“You don’t want water being dispensed any higher than 120 degrees,” Delaware says.
There are also faucets slow the flow to a trickle to prevent scalding if the water is too hot
3. Choose non-slip materials
Children should be OK with a rug with a good rubber back — just not toddlers, who are unsteady on their feet. As for tile, stay away from something polished. Look for a textured tile that’s low maintenance and that you don’t have to reseal. Ceramic and non-slip vinyl are also great for safety and looks.
In the bathtub, try an adhesive-mounted mat. “The ones with suction cups get dirty and water collects underneath, and you have to clean them really well. And if the bath isn’t smooth, a suction cup mat could cause you to slip,” Delaware says.
4. Install a kid-friendly grab bar
The bathroom poses the number one danger when it comes to slipping and falling. Grab bars aren’t just for the elderly, and there are plenty out there with colorful coatings for a playful look. Use them on the wall as a towel bar or in the shower enclosure.