What to do when your Baby Swallows Bath Water

Swallowing bath water, even for an infant, is relatively benign. This is not to be confused with INHALING bath water. If your child has breathed water into his lungs, this may cause drowning and require immediate attention. However, if your child has simply swallowed a few gulps of water, he should be fine. There are some risk factors involved, if there are certain conditions present.

SOAP – Drinking water with adult strength soap can irritate bowels and cause diarrhea. However, baby soap is generally safe and the amount that your child would consume drinking a small amount of bath water should not upset his tummy. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the product maker (there should be an 800 number on the back of the bottle). If this does not alleviate your concerns, contact your baby’s primary physician or poison control at 1-800-222-1222.

EXCESSIVE DIRT or MINERALS – Infants generally do not get THAT dirty, so dirty water this should not be a concern. However, if you are bathing your child in hard water that may be undrinkable, this can obviously be a problem. Make sure to have your water tested if you suspect that it may not safe for baby to drink.

These circumstances are typically rare and is drinking a small amount of bath water is normal infant behavior. Most children drink a least a small amount of bath water while others may try to ingest it on purpose. This is not a good idea, because bath water does contain germs and if taken in substantial amounts can cause stomach upset or illness. Make sure to watch your baby for signs of discomfort. If your child develops a fever, he may have contracted a bacterial infection and would need medical attention. The age of your child is especially important. The younger your infant, the more susceptible to disease he is.

If your child has swallowed a a small amount of water, there is generally no need to worry. However, if you believe that there is cause for medical intervention, contact your pediatrician or if your believe that his condition is life threatening dial 911 for emergency assistance. Caution should always exercised when small children are involved. Babies cannot communicate their pains well and it is up to you to decipher their cries. Most the the time, as a parent, you can tell if your baby is crying out in frustration, anger, or pain. Sometimes it is a combination If you are unsure, it is advisable to ask a professional. Drinking bath water is normally safe, but it is up to your good judgement to prevail on whether or not your infant has been adversely affected by this behavior.