Drowning hazards are everywhere. As any parent knows, children are naturally drawn to water. It’s no wonder that, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the leading cause of death for children aged one to four. Of course, when many hear the word “drowning,” they often associate it with pools and beaches. That is not necessarily the case!
The United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that one-third of drownings occurs by other hazards, many of which are most likely in your home. Children can drown in as little as two inches of water. This is way it is imperative that any body of water, whether it be a bathtub, sink, or even a toilet, are treated as deadly hazards for younger children.
Life Saver Pool Fence Systems is encouraging parents to take a deeper look at their home by child-proofing the following unlikely drowning hazards:
Bath time is such a routine that many parents become comfortable or even complacent in supervising their children during this activity. Don’t be lured by a false sense of security. It may shock you to learn that bathtubs are the most dangerous drowning hazard in your home.
Take for example this tragic story of a 14-month-old baby girl and her toddler sister. Their mother walked away for just a few minutes. Upon her return, she found both girls under the water. The 14-month-old was pronounced dead at the scene after CPR was attempted. This story serves as a tragic reminder that parents must keep their eyes on their children at all times. Active supervision is critical.
Life Saver Pool Fence recommends that you treat bath time just as you would if your children were in the pool and be sure to actively supervise them. Install child locks on all bathroom doors and close the door behind you when you exit the room. Child-proofing your home can prevent children from turning on the bathtub by themselves.
Buckets of Water & Sinks
It’s cleaning day, so grab that mop and bucket. Don’t forget to keep an eye out, though! This is another common routine chore that parents might miss as a potential drowning hazard. Since children are so inquisitive, they are often tempted to stick their heads into the mop bucket. Last year, an infant drowned after he fell into a mop bucket in a California gym. In this case, his mother was preoccupied while working out. Now, she probably figured her child was safe. Many of us never consider that a humble mop bucket would cause a one-year-old’s death. Sadly, it did.
Here are some helpful tips to keep young children safer around buckets:
- If you are using a mop bucket, keep it within sight at all times.
- If you go to the bathroom in the middle of cleaning, move the mop bucket to a place where it is not accessible to your child. Just to be extra careful, bring it in with you.
- Even “empty” buckets outside can pose a hazard to children. They can collect rainwater and create an unexpected drowning danger.
- If you are in public and at a location where a bucket may be found (for instance the gym or the grocery store), keep your child with you at all times.
The CPSC reports that five-gallon buckets present the greatest drowning hazard to young children because of its tall and straight sides.
For maximum peace-of-mind, treat any bucket you own as a “miniature swimming pool.” Remember: it takes as little as two inches of water for a child to drown.
A toilet is an essential part of any home. We even encourage our young children to become comfortable around it during potty training. Of course, don’t let them become too comfortable. After all, toilets are also a frequently overlooked drowning hazard. Imagine your child poking their head into the toilet and accidentally falling in. This probably seems outrageous, but it has happened many times. Between 1996 and 1999 alone, 16 children under the age of five drowned in toilets.
In addition to adding child locks to all bathroom doors, childproof the toilet lid or close it when you are exiting the room in order to prevent your little one from stumbling into danger.