5 Important Bath Safety TipsJanuary 16, 2014
January is Bath Safety Month, which is an important time to discuss the importance of water safety with caregivers of a young child. I remember working with a family 10 years ago who had a beautiful and healthy baby boy. One day, the mother was busy, as we all are. She had food on the stove for dinner, she still had to bathe her baby and her five-year-old, and continue her many tasks at home.
The mother thought it would be okay to multitask as she usually did. She left the water running in the tub without the stopper and left the baby and brother in the tub while she ran to check dinner in the kitchen, which was only a few steps away. In a matter of seconds, the older brother decided to play with the toilet paper in the tub. The paper began to clog the water and it began rising. Remember, only an inch of water is needed to drown a baby. When the mother returned, her baby was face down, his skin was blue, and was unresponsive. She called 911 and did the best she could to provide aid to her baby. He survived, but he now needs intensive therapy, has a g-tube for his nutrition, and needs lifelong medical care. I’m sorry to begin with such a sad story. Accidents like this one occur frequently, but can be prevented.
The Center for Disease Control reported that the highest drowning rates for children are between the ages of one to four. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional deaths in the United States. Nearly one in five people who drown is a child. As a parent and caregiver, remember to always supervise your child when he or she is around water. There are five tips I want to share to make bath time safer for your child.
- Never leave your child unattended in a bathtub and/or around water.
- Never rely on a child to supervise another child near water.
- Do not use bath seats or rings without supervision.
- Limit the amount of water in the bathtub. Do not use too much soap or shampoo, which can cause the child to be slippery and fall face-first into the water.
- Ask about CPR classes and get trained as a safety precaution.
Remember that drowning can be prevented. You can learn more about water safety through the Start Safe: Water program. We can never be too informed about how to keep our children safe.