A few inches of water. A short lapse in supervision.
That’s all it takes for a child to drown.
Maybe mom, dad or the caregiver left the bathroom to answer the phone. Maybe they left to get a towel. Maybe an older sibling was left to watch a younger one.
These are some of the reasons bathtubs are the second-leading location, after pools, where young children drown.
A new report from CPSC shows that there were 431 in-home drowning deaths involving children younger than 5 years old from 2005 to 2009. The majority of the victims were younger than age 2. Most of the incidents (a startling 83 percent) involved bath or bath-related products.
You can prevent these drownings from happening. Here’s how:
- NEVER leave young children alone near any water for ANY amount of time. EVER. As we mentioned above, young children can drown in even small amounts of water.
- ALWAYS keep a young child within arm’s reach in a bathtub. If you must leave the room, take the child with you.
- Don’t leave a baby or young child in a bathtub under the care of another young child.
- Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. Toddlers are top-heavy and they can fall headfirst into buckets and drown. After you use a bucket, always empty it and store it where young children cannot reach it. Don’t leave buckets outside where they can collect rainwater.
- Learn CPR. It can be a lifesaver when seconds count.