Baby Health and Safety Article

Pools, Buckets, and Other Drowning Hazards

You can prevent drowning by paying close attention to your baby when she is near water and to potential water-based hazards at all times. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death in children - over 1,000 deaths per year and many more trips to the hospital.

Putting a baby-proof fence around your swimming pool is a productive first step toward drowning prevention. Additional measures you can take include:

  • Eliminating deck clutter, which causes a tripping hazard.
  • Keep the pool covered when not in use; use a rigid cover.
  • Always have rescue equipment handy; never use it as a pool toy.
  • Always attend to your baby in the pool; drowning deaths happen quickly and without a sound.

Your baby can drown in as little as two inches of water. For this reason, almost anything that holds water and your baby fits into is a drowning hazard.

  • Bathing - Never stray more than an arm's length from your baby while she's bathing. In addition, baby bath-seats seem like a safe accessory, but they can trap your baby underwater if she slips or slides down into them.
  • Toilets - Consider putting safety latches on your toilet seats. Curious babies can climb into toilets.
  • Buckets and other Containers -  Empty all coolers and car-wash buckets after use. Be aware that even your dog's water bowl, if big enough, is a hazard.
  • Wading Pools - Always drain and store wading pools safely after use.

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