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Bathtub Safety

Bathtub safety can prevent infant drowning deaths

A Mother Averts Tragedy: A Relatable and Cautionary Tale

 Warning: This is a fictional story based on real events.

During a busy weeknight, a mother was bathing her children to prepare them for bed. When she briefly stepped away to grab a towel from the dryer, her kids remained in the tub, continuing to play. Around that time, she received a phone call, but let it go to voicemail to check later. She continued back to the bathroom and was met with a harrowing sight in the hallway. Her four-year-old daughter was drenched and crying! When she ran into the bathroom, she saw her infant who son had become unresponsive while still in the tub caddy. She quickly pulled him out of the tub and administered a few tiny rescue breaths she had learned in parental CPR training. The older sister had turned on the water to play while the mother was away, leading to this incident. Luckily, the quick actions of the mother and her training in CPR meant the child only spent the night in the hospital for observation and tests. She was grateful she ignored the phone call as she arrived just in time. This story could have easily ended in tragedy.

Note: tragic bath tub drownings have occurred at least a dozen times in Texas in 2023 and annually 87 drowning deaths on average are attributed to bath tubs in the United States. 

Age Determines the Most Dangerous Drowning Locations

Drowning hazards differ depending on your child’s age. For infants under one year old, bathtubs account for two-thirds of all drowning incidents. It only takes 20 seconds for drowning to occur and requires only one to two inches of water.

Bath-time best practices for your baby’s safety

Here are some easy-to-follow bath time tips to ensure you and your children are safe around water, whether it’s in the tub, sink, or any area where children can access water. Remember, just a few inches of water can be hazardous for a young child.

Preparing for the bath

  • Gather everything first: Gather all necessary items including soap, shampoo, washcloths, and towels before starting the bath.
  • Ensure that you use a safe infant tub: Look for a non-skid bottom or place a towel in the sink to prevent slipping.
  • Stay focused: Be prepared to stay fully engaged with your baby for the duration of the bath, without checking your phone or leaving the room.

During the bath

  • No distractions: Remain fully engaged and avoid bringing phones or other media into the bathroom as even a few seconds of distraction can result in drowning.
  • Stay within reach: Keep a watchful eye on the tub and maintain physical contact with your baby throughout the bath.
  • Stay together: If you must turn away from the tub or leave the room, grab a towel and take your baby with you.
  • Check the water temperature: Ensure the water is between 98-100 degrees F (37-38C) and comfortable to your hand or elbow.
  • Limit the water depth: Use less than 2 inches of water to ensure bathtub safety.
  • Fill first: Turn the water off before placing the baby in the tub to ensure consistent temperature and depth.
  • Be prepared to administer CPR if necessary.

Other tips for bathtub safety

  • Limit bath time: Keep bath time about hygiene, rather than play, to reduce risk.  
  • Limit toys: a cluttered bath tub can lead to a clogged drain, and unexpected water left in the tub after bath time.
  • Designate a water watcher: If you and your partner are both involved in the bath, communicate if one of you needs to step away.
  • Drain it: Drain the tub completely, immediately after use. Ensure that drains are clear of toys, debris, and washcloths.

Introducing Colin and his pal, Buddy! Colin and Buddy share easy-to-follow safety tips to ensure you and your children are safe around water, whether it’s in the tub, sink, or any area where children can access water. Remember, just a few inches of water can be hazardous for a young child.

Click here to learn the Whole Hand Rules with Colin and Buddy!

Now that you’re aware of the risks lurking at home, let’s dive into some tips for staying safe around water! Whether you’re hitting up a cool pool or a serene lake, understanding water safety is crucial. Don’t miss out on our quiz, hosted on Colin’s Hope website! Take the Colin’s Hope QUIZ and test your water safety knowledge!

Colin’s Hope is continuing our drowning prevention efforts with a Bath Time Safety Campaign. 
Support “Bath Time with Buddy” today with your donation!

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