More than 300 U.S. children under age 5 drowned in non-pool incidents between 2002 and 2004, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. More than 80 percent of those deaths were children under age 2.
To prevent drowning, you can take some safety steps whenever you bathe your infant or toddler.
- Never leave a small child alone in the bath tub.
- Keep your child within arm's reach at all times during bathing.
- If you have to leave the bath area, even for a minute, take your child with you.
- Don't ask another child to supervise an infant or toddler in the bath tub.
- Remember that even small infant bath tubs can be dangerous if the baby is left alone.
- Remember that even children who are normally capable of lifting their head out of water could pass out, hit their head or fall asleep and slip under the water.
- Infant bath seats or safety products cannot replace parental supervision. Stay with your baby even if he or she is in a bath seat.
Other drowning hazards in and around your home could include buckets that collect rainwater, sump pump wells, wet pails for cloth diapers, large bird baths, water gardens, spas, and of course, swimming pools. Children can easily tip headfirst into a tall bucket and get stuck, unable to lift their head.
In addition to finding potential hazards in your home and implementing bath time safety practices, the CPSC also urges parents and caregivers to take CPR and emergency care courses in case an emergency arises with an infant or toddler.