Protecting your child from drowning hazards

An infant or young child can drown in as little as 1 in. (2.5 cm) of water or other liquid. The following recommendations can help you protect your child from drowning hazards.1

  • Do not leave babies and young children alone in the bathtub or a swimming or wading pool. If a baby slips or rolls and lands facedown, he or she may not be able to turn over. Bathing seats or flotation devices may be used, but they do not protect against drowning and are not a substitute for your attention.
  • Do not leave babies and young children alone around filled buckets, such as 5-gallon buckets used for cleaning. Empty buckets after each use, and keep them out of children's reach. Buckets have tall, straight sides, which makes it very difficult for infants and young children to escape once they have fallen in.
  • Leave toilet lids down. Keep young children out of the bathroom without your direct supervision. Make sure your toddler knows that the toilet is not a toy. Toilets are drowning hazards, especially for children younger than 3. An older baby or young child can fall headfirst into the water and not be able to climb back out. Consider placing a latch on the bathroom door, out of reach of young children.
  • Empty all liquid containers immediately after use. Make sure all empty containers are out of reach of young children and babies. Do not leave them in the yard or around the house. They can accumulate water and become a drowning hazard.
  • Empty ice chests immediately after use, and keep lids closed. Store out of children's reach.
  • Watch children closely outdoors, especially where wells, open postholes, and irrigation or drainage ditches are nearby. Fill holes and install fences or other barriers to protect your child. Make sure pools are fenced off and have covers that lock. Don't let a child out of your sight while you are doing yard work or other outdoor activities.

Citations

  1. Consumer Product Safety Commission (2007). Prevent child in-home drowning deaths. Consumer Product Safety Alert. Available online: http://cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/drown.html.

Last Updated: December 3, 2008

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.