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Safe Bath Time Bubbles for Toddlers

By Eliza Martinez ; Updated September 26, 2017
Some types of bubble bath might have harmful ingredients.

Toddlers have delicate, sensitive skin but they are also notorious for hating bath time. If pouring in bubble bath is the only way to get your toddler in the tub, you might worry about the exposure to bubbles. Most of the time, a bubble bath won't cause a problem, but for some toddlers it can cause skin and urinary tract issues. The trick is finding a bubble bath solution that's safe for your little one.

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Types of Bubble Bath

With an entire aisle devoted to children's bath supplies, it can be overwhelming to find the right type of bubble bath for your toddler. Look for a product that is hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested. These items are much less likely to irritate your toddler's skin than a generic version from your local drugstore. Grab a few trial-size bubble bath products and try them out to find the one that works best for your toddler.


Before buying bubble bath for your toddler, scan the ingredients list. The more there are, the higher the chance that it could cause a reaction. Watch out specifically for formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, both of which are probable carcinogens, which mean they could cause cancer. According to the Environmental Working Group, 61 percent of tested children's bubble bath products (some of which are well-known brands for kids) contain both ingredients. Look for bubble baths that are made with natural ingredients to limit your child's exposure to harmful chemicals. At the same time, choose one that isn't scented so as to avoid irritation, especially for toddlers with eczema.

Using Bubble Bath

Proper use of bubble bath helps ensure that it is fun for your toddler, but safe too. Skip it altogether if your child has skin issues. Otherwise, use just a small amount to reduce exposure to the soap itself. Don't let your toddler soak in a bubble bath for extended amounts of time either. This can dry out her skin and make her itchy and uncomfortable. Stay close by when your toddler is in the tub. This goes without saying in terms of preventing a drowning accident, but it also allows you to make sure she isn't tasting the bubbles. Ingesting bubble bath prompts thousands of calls to Poison Control centers each year, according to the Dr. Greene website.

When There is a Problem

Prolonged exposure to bubble bath can irritate your child's urethra, particularly in girls. This irritation results in frequent urination as the body attempts to flush out the irritant. This can often cause a burning feeling, making your toddler hold her urine as long as possible, which can result in a urinary tract infection. If your toddler complains of discomfort during urination, contact her doctor for a diagnosis and treatment. If the bubble bath produces a skin reaction, her pediatrician might recommend an over-the-counter skin cream to alleviate the problem.

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About the Author

Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.

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