Protecting Your Child From Drowning Hazards

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Protecting Your Child From Drowning Hazards

Topic Overview

An infant or young child can drown in as little as 2.5 cm (1 in.) 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 face down, 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 hard for infants and young children to escape if 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. Keep all empty containers 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.
  • Never let your child swim in any fast-moving water.

Other Places To Get Help

Organizations

Canadian Paediatric Society
2305 Saint Laurent Boulevard
Ottawa, ON  K1G 4J8
Phone: (613) 526-9397
Fax: (613) 526-3332
Email: info@cps.ca
Web Address: www.cps.ca
 

The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) promotes quality health care for Canadian children and establishes guidelines for paediatric care. The organization offers educational materials on a variety of topics, including information on immunizations, pregnancy, safety issues, and teen health.


Safe Kids Canada
180 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON  M5G 1Z8
Phone: (416) 813-6766
1-888-723-3847
Fax: (416) 813-4986
Email: safekids.web@sickkids.ca
Web Address: http://www.safekidscanada.ca
 

Safe Kids Canada is a national injury prevention program provided by the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. The Web site provides information on keeping children safe and preventing injuries.


References

Citations

  1. Consumer Product Safety Commission (accessed 2010). Prevent child in-home drowning deaths. CPSC Document No. 5013. Available online: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/chdrown.html.

Other Works Consulted

  • American Academy of Pediatrics (2010). Water safety and young children. Available online: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Water-Safety-And-Young-Children.aspx.
  • Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics (2010). Policy statement: Prevention of drowning. Pediatrics, 126(1): 178–185.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Last Revised February 3, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.