Summer may be over and most pools may now be closed, but drowning dangers still remain, warns the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Second to pools, more children drown in bathtubs than in any other product in and around the home.
According to CPSC reports, for 2003-2005, the agency received at least 90 reports of children 5 or younger who drowned in bathtubs (62%), baby seats or bathinettes (15%), buckets and pails (11%), landscaping/yard products (6%), and other products (4%).
Moreover, there was a yearly average of 39 additional reports of non-fatal submersion incidents for 2005-2007, reported for the same products. The majority of drowning and non-fatal submersion incidents involved children 2 and younger.
“Anything that can collect water can pose a potential drowning hazard to children,” said Inez Tenenbaum, CPSC Chairman. “Young children need constant supervision in and around water.”
“Drowning is quick and silent,” says Parents advisor Dr. Martin R. Eichelberger, MD, founder and director of Safe Kids Worldwide. “Rarely do young kids make a big splash or scream for help as depicted on TV. They usually fall in head first and quickly sink to the bottom.” After two minutes underwater, a child will lose consciousness. Within four to six minutes underwater, they can suffer irreversible brain damage.
Preventing a tragedy requires several layers of protection. Below are safety tips that every parent/caregiver should follow:
* Young children should never be left attended, not even for a moment, near water – that includes the pool, bathtub and buckets.
* While in the bathtub, the child should always be in arm’s reach. The child should not be left alone for any amount of time, including seconds.
* Never leave a baby/toddler in a bathtub under the care of another young child.
* A bath seat is not a substitute for supervision – it’s a bathing aid, not a safety device.
* Learn CPR, it can help a child stay alive with little or no brain damage.
Bucket & ToiletSafety
* Buckets containing even small amounts of water pose a drowning hazard. Don’t leave buckets outside where they can collect rainwater.
* Toilets can be overlooked as a drowning hazard in the home. Parents can buy safety latches that will keep the lid closed and ensure the child is unable to open it.
The National Swim School Association recommends the following safety tactics in the event your child is drowning:
* Shout for help. Carefully lift your child out of the water.
* Start CPR immediately. Have someone call 911.
* Even if your child seems normal when revived, see your pediatrician right away.
Tub And Shower Injuries
A recent study confirmed that bath dangers are the greatest threat to young children.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found more than 43,000 children are injured in slips and falls in bathtubs each year in the U.S. #