Did you know there’s an official Rubber Ducky Day? Last week we told you about National Bath Safety Month
, now let's go deeper. Believe it or not, earlier this month, on January 13th
we celebrated the “birthday” of Sesame Street’s most famous bath time buddy. Speaking of bath time, this is a great opportunity to talk bath tub toy safety.
Rubber Ducky Day
Let’s start with rubber ducky. According to a 1973 Sesame Street calendar, Ernie’s pal rubber ducky was born in January. And since there’s a national day for seemingly everything, that means January 13th
is National Rubber Ducky Day.
“Rubber Duckie” made its debut in a February 1970 episode. Sing along, you know the words:
Of course, we know that Ernie’s pal wasn’t the first. So where did rubber duckies first come from in the first place? There are lots of conflicting origin stories for the first one, so it’s hard to be sure. It’s possible rubber ducky bath toys may have been around since the late 1800s, when the rubber manufacturing industry took off.
In 1928, we saw the earliest patent for a rubber duck toy. Landon Smart Lawrence created a design for a duck-shaped weighted bath toy that, when tipped, would return to its upright position.
How about that? It seems rubber ducky might be older than we initially thought! In 2013, the rubber ducky even became an official Toy Hall of Fame
Bath Tub Toy Safety
While there weren’t as many options for kids in the 1800s, a rubber ducky is just one of the many toys available to little ones today. Let’s take a closer look at general bath tub toy safety.
You see, bath toys can be fun, but they have many other uses as well. For example, newborns need to be eased into regular bathing. They don’t quite understand that being suddenly wet isn’t fun. Bath toys, like rubber duckies, are just the right way to get them into the water without a fuss. Toys turn a chore into an extended play time. These toys can also help to encourage bonding with a playful parent.
Keeping Tub Time Safe
Of course, not all toys are created equally. Before buying a toy, be sure to look up reviews to make sure it fulfills the needs of your child. Above all, be sure to pay attention to age recommendations. If a toy has small parts, it can become a choking hazard for younger children.
Read the Instructions
Before breaking out a toy for the bath, be sure to familiarize yourself with the instructions. Waiting until bath time to do this is a good way to get distracted when you should be properly supervising your little one.
Keep Up with Recalls
Next, be sure to keep a close eye on websites like www.Recalls.gov
. This site can help to keep parents informed about potential hazards. This is true for bath tub toy safety as well as other children’s products.
Dry Toys Off When Bath Time is Over
Finally, be sure to dry off the toys when tub time is over. Wet toys can grow mildew or mold. This can be very hazardous to a little one’s health… and to a parent’s health!
Additionally, it is important to never leave the toys in the tub. This can spell disaster if your curious child goes on the hunt for toys. They can easily topple into the ceramic tub, slip on a wet floor or drown on any water that may be remaining in the tub. Instead, it helps to have a designated container to store the toys away. Next time, it’ll be easy to find all of your toys, rubber ducky and all, if they’re all in a single spot.