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CPSC: Drowning dangers for babies in bathtubs, bath seats, and buckets

Consumer Reports News: September 09, 2011 11:53 AM

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The summer season may be unofficially over now that Labor Day has passed and kids are back in school. But the Consumer Product Safety Commission is reminding parents: Backyard pools aren't the only places where your kids can drown.

In a new report, the CPSC highlights that from 2005 to 2009, there were some 600 reports of "submersion incidents," involving children under five years old and "non-pool and non-spa products." A majority of those reports involved children under two years old and bath or bath-related products. Further analysis shows 92 percent of 431 reported fatalities occurred in homes.

In the official CPSC release, Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said:

Young children can drown in just a few inches of water. I urge parents and caregivers to constantly supervise young children around bathtubs, bath seats and buckets.

The tips released by the CPSC today mirror the advice Consumer Reports' experts have outlined in How to give your baby a bath safely and include:

  • Never leave young children alone near any water or tub or basin with fluid. Young children can drown in even small amounts of water.
  • Always keep a young child within arm's reach in a bathtub. If you must leave, take the child with you.
  • Don't leave a baby or young child in a bathtub under the care of another young child.
  • Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. Toddlers are top heavy and they can fall headfirst into buckets and drown. After using a bucket, always empty and store it where young children cannot reach it. Don’t leave buckets outside where they can collect rainwater.
  • Consider placing locks on toilet seat covers in case a young child wanders into the bathroom.
  • Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). It can be a lifesaver when seconds count.

For more safety advice, check out Baby bathtub buying advice and warnings of Dangerous baby bath products from the experts in Consumer Reports' Babies & kids section.

Drowning Dangers in Bathtubs, Bath Seats and Buckets [CPSC]
Submersions Related to Non-Pool and Non-Spa Products, 2011 Report (PDF) [CPSC]

Paul Eng

   

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