Child Safety: Hidden Drowning Hazards in the Home

27952029_mAccording to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages one to four. Swimming pools pose and obvious danger, but there are everyday items in your home that can pose a hidden drowning risk for infants and toddlers. Toilets, buckets, and other containers can hold enough water to lead to tragedy. A child can drown in as little as an inch of water in less than one minute.

Baths and Bathtubs

Far too many infants drown in the bath. Bathtubs are the second leading place where young children drown, following pools.

  • Never leave your baby unattended in the bath. Not even for a second. If you must leave the room quickly for some reason, take the baby with you. Better that they get a little chilled than drown.
  • Do not rely on a bath seat or bath ring to keep your baby from drowning. It is there to make bathing easier, but it is not a substitute for keeping a hand on your baby at all times.
  • Young children should always be within arm’s reach of you in the tub.
  • Do not leave your baby in the care of a child while in the tub.
  • Remember to drain the tub completely, immediately after bathing your baby. Never leave water standing in the tub.

Other Household Drowning Hazards

Other household drowning hazards include:

  • Toilets
  • Buckets
  • Diaper pails
  • Flower pots
  • Ice chests

Toddlers are top-heavy. They fall over easily, and once they fall head-first into a container that contains liquid, they may not be able to get back out. You can minimize these dangers by using toilet locks, always emptying buckets and ice chests, and storing any outside containers upside down so that they cannot accumulate rainwater.


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