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Is Tap Water Safe For Babies?

Whether you have worked up a thirst hard at work in your business premises, or whilst exercising at home, it is a natural instinct when we get thirsty to grab some water from the tap and have a nice cold drink. You wouldn’t give it much thought as an adult and while it is entirely safe for us to do so, untreated tap water is not something you would want to give to a small baby – especially one that is six months or younger.

In this blog post, we explain why tap water might not be the best for babies and what you can do to make it safe, especially if you’re business is related to this topic in any way.

Is tap water safe for babies?

Tap water is not necessarily dangerous for babies, but it is advised that you do not give a small baby any water that has not been sterilised. While your tap water is safe for you to drink, if it is not sterilised, it can pose a risk to small babies.

The same also goes for bottled water.

What is in tap water to make it unsafe for babies?

There can be small levels of bacteria which would not be harmful at all for an adult to drink but could be discomforting for a baby.

You should be conscious of minimising a baby’s intake of sodium, sulphates, or fluoride – traces of which can be present in UK tap water.

Water supplies contain varying amounts of minerals differing between regions across the country, so it is always best to sterilise any water you need to use, be that in formula or on its own.

Can I give a baby bottled water?

Like tap water, bottled water is not sterile, so it is always advisable to check the label and make sure that sodium levels on the label are less than 200mg per litre.

How do you sterilise tap water for a baby?

To sterilise tap water for a baby, you simply need to boil water and leave it cool down. By boiling the water you are just removing any traceable levels of bacteria, thus making it suitable for a baby’s consumption.

A good idea to save time is to boil enough water so that you can keep a supply of sterilised water in a bottle or jug in the fridge.

At what age can a child start drinking water from the tap?

The stomach of a small child can normally handle tap water when the child is older than six months. This coincides with the time a child would normally start on solid foods.

Is cloudy tap water safe for children?

If you are getting water for a baby (or yourself) and can see that it is cloudy, most of the time you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. However, should you be concerned that you have a water quality incident, you can contact Castle Water on 01250 718700 or use our webchat service at We will gather as much information as possible about the issue and will immediately contact your water network owner to investigate.

I run a nursery. What should I do with my water?

Like any business, you need to ensure your water is the best quality possible for staff and customer usage. This requires periodic testing to ensure that the pipework and infrastructure are clean and up to standard to avoid any water quality incidents.

In a recent example, in Scotland in 2018 the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland (DWQR) realised that many nurseries operating in premises built before the 1970s had lead pipes used for their water supply. The water supply of these businesses had to be tested to ensure that there was no trace of lead in the water and recommendations were made to replace the pipes in some instances.

Want more advice on your business water? Get in touch

If you run a nursery or have a business that works with babies or small children and want practical advice to help your business improve water efficiency or access to our specialist partners to support your additional water management needs, call us on 01250 718 700 or contact us here, and we’ll see how we can help.