The Hidden Danger of Walk-in Tubs and Children.

child on WIT seat

6 year old child sitting on Walk-in Bathtub Seat.

Walk-in bathtubs have a footwell with deep water. Often the depth of the water can be the equivalent of having a hot-tub or swimming pool in your home, with the added danger that it is difficult to reach someone in the footwell from outside the bathtub.

If you are bathing small children or someone who is small and frail and at risk of falling into the footwell, a walk-in bathtub is not a safe option. Either use only the shower function or bath children in a different tub.

front view of child in WIT

child in wit footwell

front view child in footwall of WIT


Grandparents need to be aware of this limitation as the tub may only be used very infrequently by guests so it might not be something they have considered. The photos above show how small a six year old child looks in the footwell of a walk-in bathtub, as well as where the water line is in relation to their head. Making it even more dangerous is the higher outer wall which means an adult on the outside of the tub cannot easily reach the bather inside. This tub door opens inward which means the bather may block the door from being opened in an emergency.

Although we have illustrated this with a six year old child, this is even more of a concern with a toddler or a person with limited mobility and strength to pull themselves out the footwell should they fall in.

The ADL Spa bathtub is a better choice for children or adults with poor core strength or needing assistance.

adl with children bathing

ADL Spa being used to bath several toddlers safely (and with supervision).

child in ADL

This is the same child in an ADL Spa bathtub. This tub has no footwell, reducing the danger of injury. Note: children should never be left unattended when bathing regardless of the bathtub type.

Posted in Health & Wellness, Home Safety.