Infant Drowning Prevention
85% of them drown in the BATHROOM, almost always in the
11% drown in pools, almost always at home & 4% end up drowning in open water like a lake, river or pond.
And almost all of them are PREVENTABLE TRAGEDIES.
You might have noticed I called drowning a preventable tragedy and that’s because mostly for young kids, it is!
But you can only reduce your child's risk when you know the facts and take action.
Let’s start with where kids under 1 year old are most likely to drown. Here’s what you have to know:
Any source of water like a bathtub, toilet, bucket, or puddle provides access to enough water to be dangerous to your infant if you’re not right there with them.
85% of infants who drown, drown in the bathroom - almost always in the bath.
When I first saw these numbers, I was stunned… as a swim instructor I always believed pools were the most dangerous place for babies – I thought that because I had seen all the INFANT SWIMMING LESSON videos online and I guess I just assumed most infants must drown in pools.
Well, clearly that’s not the case – because it turns out when you actually dive into the fatality data available on the CDC website.
Bath time is clearly the most dangerous time for infants.
Over the last 10 years over 400 families have lost a baby to drowning and around 340 of them drowned at home in the bathroom, usually in the bath.
How is that happening?
Most of the time it’s because the supervising adult, usually a parent, didn’t realize HOW FAST and SILENT drowning can happen and they allowed themselves to stop supervision, QUICKLY – for JUST a minute, to run an errand IN the house, like getting a towel, diapers, clothes or to answer the phone.
Babies can also start crawling at 6 months to a year and can crawl their way out of supervision and into a dangerous situation too.
That might be an open bathroom with an undrained tub, uncovered toilet or a bucket that wasn’t emptied. And it could be a pool, pond or stream without proper fencing.
Ways to prevent infant drowning
Here’s what you need to know: improper supervision & improper barriers to a water source cover almost every single one of those 40 drownings that happen every year in the United States.
As parents please don’t leave your babies near water and don’t take your eyes off them.
If you need to step out for any reason, take your baby with you. A bath seat or another child ARE NOT going to provide your baby the SUPERVISION to keep them SAFE.
DRAIN the bathtub, CLOSE the toilet, and EMPTY buckets when you’re done using them and then CLOSE the bathroom door behind you. BLOCK your baby’s access to water in the home when they start crawling.
And PUT UP BARRIERS if you have access to a pool, pond, river or lake on your property – I’ve seen stats that show pool fences can stop 50 to 90% of drownings when they are used properly.
But if you do these things consistently like you baby’s life depends on it you can prevent this tragedy from happening to you or at least significantly reduce the risk.
Always think SUPERVISION and BARRIERS, that’s it… SUPERVISION and BARRIERS.
For more information on how to prevent drowning in kids and toddlers make sure to checkout our other blogs & videos.
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