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Consumer Product Safety Alert

FROM THE U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20207

Prevent Child Drownings in the Home

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns that young children can drown in as little as two inches of water. The Commission is concerned that care-givers be aware of the hidden drowning hazard associated with many products found in and around the home.

Available data show that accidental drowning is the third leading cause of death for children under 5 years of age. Many of these deaths are associated with common house-hold products. For example:

  • about 100 children under age 5 have drowned each year in bathtubs. Some of these bathtub drownings occurred when children were in bath seats or rings.
  • 5-gallon buckets, often used for household chores, have been associated with more than 275 drownings since 1984.
  • over 20 young children, most around one year of age, have drowned in toilets since 1990 - usually when they fell in head first.

Childhood drownings have also happened in other containers that may contain liquids, including diaper pails, picnic coolers, wash tubs and basins.

The Commission offers these safety tips to help prevent childhood drownings in and around the home

  • ALWAYS provide supervision when children are around any type of containers containing liquids.
  • NEVER leave young children alone or with young siblings in a bathtub even if you are using a bath seat or ring. Children can drown in just a few minutes.
  • Keep young children out of the bathroom unless you are watching them closely.
  • Be sure all containers that may contain liquids are emptied immediately after use. Do not leave empty containers in yards or around the house where they may accumulate water and attract young children.
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