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Prevent Child Drownings

You looked away for a second.

Maybe you went around the corner to grab a towel from the linen closet.

Or maybe you forgot to turn the stove off after dinner and went to the kitchen for no more than a minute.

For most families, the bath time ritual is a nightly occurrence. It signals to both parents and children that bedtime is imminent. However, there are times we have all looked away or ran to grab something from the other room—without ever thinking twice. And if you are lucky, nothing terrible happens—maybe just a river on the bathroom tile from all the illegal splashing.

In all seriousness, this month is dedicated to safety in the bathtub.

Why? Is it that big of a deal?

The answer is YES.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging parents to consider the dangers surrounding bathtubs and showers in their homes. The fact is that drownings are the leading cause of unintentional deaths among children between the ages of 1-4.

The statistics don’t lie.

Eighty-two percent (82%) of victims were younger than age two (2) and eighty-one percent (81%) of the incidents involved bathtubs or bath related products.  As we mentioned in an earlier safety blog post, during the summer months, pools are the leading location for children to drown, but bathtubs come in a close second (2nd) place. The CPSC reported that from 2006 – 2010 there were 684 incidents involving children younger than age five (5). Based on these incidents, there were 434 deaths (87 per year), 233 injuries and 17 incidents with no injuries.

The CPSC is committed to spreading this important message to all caregivers around the country. Far too many children have died or suffered permanent injuries due to water related accidents in the safety of their own homes. The Commission has released some points to remind individuals to practice safety in and around bathtubs and showers:

  • Never leave young children alone near any water, tub or basin with fluid. Young children can drown in even small amounts of liquid.
  • Always keep a young child within arm's reach in a bathtub. If you must leave, take the child with you.
  • Don't leave a baby or young child in a bathtub under the care of another 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 using a bucket, always empty and store it where young children cannot reach it. Don't leave buckets outside where they can collect rainwater.
  • Consider placing locks on toilet seat covers in case a young child wanders into the bathroom (e.g., Toilet Seat Lock).
  • Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). When seconds count, you can save a life.

Please consider these points before you turn on the faucet again. The lives of our children need to be at the forefront of our minds---no matter the distraction. And never forget that products used in the bathtub should be cleared by the CPSC.  Never allow any recalled toys or infant tubs in the bathtub-this creates additional dangers for your child.

For more information, contact Kaine Law.

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