Being a parent is exhausting. It feels like every five minutes you’re doing something to prevent your child from hurting themselves.
‘Don’t jump off that. Watch your fingers in that door. You can’t eat that.’ I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve uttered these words at home in the past year.
And in a bid to keep little ones safe, so many items have to be stored out of harm’s way – from buttons and coins to cleaning products, nail scissors and medicines.
But one commonly used household item that you probably haven’t thought about hiding away is the bath plug. And here’s why you should.
A mother’s warning about the danger of leaving your bath plug out is going viral again – two years after it was first posted – with lots of parents (myself included) completely oblivious to the hazard a plug could pose.
Instagram account CPR Kids, a baby and child first aid education page, said it saw a post in a mum’s group from a parent called Illi, who’s based in Australia, about the shocking sight she was met with at 4am when her toddler decided to get in the bath.
The parent recalled how her four-year-old son – who is usually a deep sleeper, but miraculously woke up on this occasion – roused them from their sleep, shouting that his brother was in the bath and needed help.
“We found our cheeky, adventurous two-year-old in the bath fully-clothed with nappy and everything on,” said Illi.
“He had pulled up a stool to climb in (he’s never climbed in on his own before), put the plug in, turned the tap on and the bath was overflowing and the bathroom was flooding.
“The scariest part and something I feel deeply traumatised by is that he had clearly been trying to get out for a while and had given up and was tired... he was kneeling on his knees and falling asleep in the water.
“I just can’t believe what a close call this was.”
The parent said it’s something she never thought could happen – and so many parents agreed, now and then.
“I’m so incredibly grateful my four-year-old woke up as we would never have heard (our room is at the other end of the house),” the mum continued.
Thankfully the story has a happy ending and Archie, who was two at the time, was checked over by a medical professional and was completely fine.
“A few minutes more and this could of been a very different story,” warned the mum.
After the ordeal, the parents put a lock on the bathroom door and locked the plug away in a cupboard. They also put an alarm sensor on the then-toddler’s door so they knew if he was up about about.
“I hope this story can educate other parents because honestly I consider myself to be REALLY on top of child safety, every effort is taken to ensure the safety of our kids at all times but I honestly just never thought of locking away the plug,” she posted at the time.
Responding to the repost from CPR Kids, one mother wrote: “OMG how scary! Thank you for sharing and raising awareness. I’m locking my plug in the cupboard right away.”
Another mum said: “I remember reading this story two years ago and I have kept the bath plug out of reach every night since. So scary.”
And for those with built-in bath plugs, CPR Kids shared some additional tips for safety-proofing the bathroom, saying parents could try doorknob covers, safety chains, or bolt locks.