The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns consumers about hidden drowning hazards for small children in and around the home. Recent data show that a third as many children under age 5 (an average of about 115 annually) drown from other hazards around the home as drown in pools.
Many of these deaths are associated with common household products. For example:
- About two-thirds of the drowning deaths in the home, not including pools, occur in bathtubs. Some of these bathtub drowning deaths happened when children were in bath seats or rings.
- 5-gallon buckets, often used for household chores, pose a serious threat to toddlers. Their tall, straight sides combined with their stability make it nearly impossible for top-heavy infants to free themselves when they topple in headfirst.
- Toilets are often overlooked as a drowning hazard in the home. The typical scenario involves a child under 3-years-old falling headfirst into the toilet.
- Childhood drowning deaths also occur in other containers that may contain liquids, including coolers, sinks, fish tanks and landscape ponds.
- Spas and Hot Tubs pose another drowning hazard. A solar cover can allow babies to slip into the water while the cover appears to stay in place, hiding the child.
CPSC offers these safety tips to help prevent childhood drowning deaths in and around the home.
- NEVER leave a baby alone in a bathtub even for a second. Always keep baby in arm's reach.
- NEVER leave young children alone or with young siblings in a bathtub even if you are using a bath seat or ring. Children can drown quickly and silently.
- Keep the toilet lid down, and keep young children out of the bathroom when unsupervised. Consider placing a latch on the bathroom door out of reach of young children.
- Be sure all containers that contain liquids are emptied immediately after use. Do not leave empty containers in yards or around the house where they may accumulate water and attract young children.
- Always secure the safety cover on your spa or hot tub.
- Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) - it can be a lifesaver.
CPSC offers these safety tips to help prevent childhood drowning deaths specific to the pool.
- NEVER take your eyes off children in the water-Not for a minute! Designate a “pool watcher.”
- CPSC strongly recommends that all residential pools have a 4-foot barrier, such as a fence with self-closing and self-latching gates. If the house is the fourth side of a barrier, secure doors with alarms that prevent children from wandering into the pool area.
- Suction from a pool or spa’s drain can be so powerful it can trap an adult underwater. Do not use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers.
- Ask your pool operator if your pool or spa’s drains re compliant with the Pool and Spa Safety Act.
Know Life-Saving Skills
- Teach your children how to swim
- Know CPR so you can help save a life if a water emergency happens
- Understand the basics of life-saving so you can assist in an emergency
This and more information about water and pool safety can be found at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/chdrown.html.
GET CPR CERTIFIED:
The CPR Dude also has great information if you are already certified and just need a quick refresher.