CPSC Issues Warning On In-Home Drowning

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has just issued a warning about <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/accidents">in-home drownings, noting that the end of outdoor swimming and pool season does not indicate that drowning dangers for young children end. According to the CPSC, after pools, more children drown in bathtubs than in any other product in and around the home.

The CPSC said its staff received reports of an average of 90 children younger than five years of age who drowned in bathtubs (62 percent), baby seats or bathinettes (15 percent), buckets and pails (11 percent), landscaping or yard products (six percent), and other products (four percent) during 2003-2005. There was an annual average of an additional 39 reports of non-fatal submersion incidents for 2005-2007 reported for the same products. Most drownings and non-fatal submersion incidents involved children younger than two years old.

“What parents need to know is that anywhere there is water, there is a potential drowning hazard to children,” said Inez Tenenbaum, CPSC Chairman. “Parents shouldn’t let their guard down; young children need constant supervision around bathtubs, bath seats and buckets,” Tenenbaum added.

According to the agency, most of the reported incidents involved a lapse in supervision by caregivers, such as leaving the bathroom momentarily while the child was in the bathtub to answer the phone/door or to retrieve an item like a towel. In other incidents, an older sibling was left to watch a younger sibling. The CPSC recommends parents and caregivers follow the following safety tips when children are around bathtubs, bath seats, buckets, spas, or decorative ponds or fountains:

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.
Never 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.

The CPSC said its figures and additional, related information can be found it its 2008 Submersions Related to nonPool and nonSpa Products at: http://www.cpsc.gov/library/FOIA/FOIA09/OS/nonpoolsub2008.pdf. Pool- and spa- related injuries and fatalities are presented in other submersion reports. For more information, an audio clip can be accessed here. Also a video clip of the transcript can be found here.

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