Child Drowning Hazards in the Home

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently published a press release about child drowning hazards in the home. After swimming pools, more children drown in bathtubs than in any other area in and around the home.

Each year, an average of 90 children under the age of 5 drown in bathtubs (62 percent) baby seats or bathinettes (15 percent), buckets or pails (11 percent), landscaping or yard products (6 percent), and other products. There is also an average of 39 non-fatal submersion injuries reported by the CPSC each year. The majority of drowning accidents and submersion accidents involve children under the age of 2.

CPSC recommends the following safety tips for parents and caregivers when children are around bathtubs, bath seats, buckets, spas, ponds, fountains, or any products that could drown them.

- Never leave young children alone, even for a moment, near any water. Young children can drown quickly 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 toddler in a bathtub under the care of another young child.

- Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. Toddlers 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.

- Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). It can be a lifesaver when seconds count.

“Anything that can collect water can pose a potential drowning hazard to children,” said Inez Tenenbaum, CPSC Chairman. “Young children need constant supervision in and around water.”

A study published in the journal Pediatrics in July 2009 found that slips, trips, and falls are the most common cause of bathtub-related injuries for children.

Scalding is another common bathtub injury for children. To avoid scald injuries, make sure that the water heater temperature is set lower than 120 degrees. Always check the water temperature before placing a child in the bath. Note that 100 degrees or less is a safe temperature for bathing.

Never leave children unattended in the bathtub or sink. They might turn on the hot water and scald themselves. You may want to buy child-proof covers for your faucets. When cooking or cleaning with hot water, keep children out of the room.
If a scald injury occurs, remove any clothing and cool the injury with tap water. Do not use ice or any types of salves. Call 911 and seek medical treatment immediately.

Many scald injuries are caused by negligence on the part of the landlord or property manager. If the hot water temperature is set too high, for instance, owner of a business or rental property may be liable for damages resulting from a scald injury. If you believe that your child was injured as a result of negligence, contact a Georgia personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.