JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two out of three drownings in children 1-year-old or younger happen in the bath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
January is National Bathtub Safety month to help prevent this.
A momentary lapse in judgment could be the difference between life and death for a young child during something as routine as bath time.
The leading cause of death for children under the age of 4 is drowning, according to Andy Wood, the franchise owner of British Swim School of Northeast Florida.
Here are a few ways families can stay safe during baths:
- Never leave a child alone in the bath. Children can drown in less than two inches of water, and it can happen in seconds, silently.
- Don’t rely on bath seats.
- Eliminate distractions. Leave phones, tablets, and other devices out of the bathroom because looking down for seconds could end in tragedy.
- Prepare the bath, meaning parents should bring any items that they may need and have them in place within arm’s reach. Leaving to go get any left items could result in enough time for an accident.
- Drain the water when bath time is done. Don’t leave any possibility of standing water.
- Follow the “belly button rule.” Don’t know how high to fill the bath? It’s best to never fill a bath higher than a child’s belly button
“A drowning can happen in a matter of seconds. So, if you think about that, that’s you dropping your head to look for something. For example, if you don’t have the items you need for a child preparing for the bath such as towels or clothes or something to put on your child after you pull them out of the water,” Woods said. “You know if you leave that bathroom to retrieve those items, it can happen that quick. It really comes down to the focus and attention is really the main things and one of the biggest struggles we have as adults.”
Keeping your child safe during bath time or any time around water comes down to supervision and being attentive.
You can find more ways to stay safe, whether it’s at bath time or around any body of water with your child, at https://britishswimschool.com/northeast-florida.