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Running hot and cold

Digital Spout CoverThe new Digital Bath Spout Cover with Built-in Digital Thermometer (yes, that’s the product name; it’s trademarked) from 4 Moms is one of my most highly anticipated new arrivals for 2006. When I saw a demonstration of the product at the JPMA show in May, I was extremely impressed. But they were showing a prototype, and I found it hard to believe that the final product would perform as well as the slick demonstration version on display.

The product promises to perform two functions. First, it’s a squishy cover that protects little heads from hard, metal faucets. Second, it has a screen that displays the water temperature while the background color shifts from blue (cold) to green (warm) to red (too hot).

When we received our first shipment, I brought one home so I could test it myself. We set it up on the tub we use to bathe our kids, ages 4 and 2. It was very easy to install using the velcro strap, and it seemed very secure. Once we turned on the faucet, though, we were really amazed. Just like the sample at the show, the screen showed an accurate-to-the-second temperature read, and the screen’s color changes were very cool.

At bathtime, my husband had some additional observations. The design isn’t really kid-oriented. It’s very neutral and more functional than fun. This turned out to be a good thing, because while the kids were very curious about the new bathtub appendage, they pretty much left it alone to do its job. The kids picked up the color cues very quickly, anxiously insisting that the water stay out of the red range.

To our feel, the red screen kicks on a bit early. 100 degree water feels like a nice, warm temperature for a bath. Perhaps too warm for a newborn or infant, but just fine for my two. Realistically, this will never be a product you can’t live without. Reaching out and feeling the water would yield similar conclusions. But it’s a very nifty gadget at a great price, and there’s no denying that it does bring some peace of mind to bathtime.

To read more about 4 Moms, visit their website. Coming soon is an infant bathtub that employs this same technology. We’ll keep you posted.

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