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Home > Living Well > Health Library > Child Safety: Preventing Drowning
An infant or young child can drown in as little as 1 in. (2.5 cm) of water or other liquid.
The following recommendations can help you protect your child from drowning hazards.
A baby who slips or rolls and lands facedown may not be able to turn over. You can use bathing seats or flotation devices. But be aware that they don't protect against drowning. They aren't a substitute for your attention.
Empty your buckets after each use, and keep them out of children's reach. Buckets have tall, straight sides that make it very hard for infants and young children to escape if they fall in.
Keep young children out of the bathroom without your direct supervision. Make sure that your toddler knows that the toilet isn't a toy. Toilets are drowning hazards, especially for children younger than 3. An older baby or young child can fall headfirst into the water and not be able to climb back out. Think about placing a latch on the bathroom door, out of reach of young children.
Keep all empty containers out of reach of young children and babies. Don't leave empty containers in the yard or around the house. They can accumulate water and become a drowning hazard.
Store them out of children's reach.
Fill holes and install fences or other barriers to protect your child. Make sure that pools are fenced off and have covers that lock. Don't let a child out of your sight while you are doing yard work or other outdoor activities.
Children need to learn to swim. You can help prevent drowning incidents by teaching your children basic safety rules and swimming skills.
The following are suggestions to help you prepare your child for water-related activities.
Also, learn swimming survival and rescue techniques.
Swim lessons may give you and your child a false sense of security and make you both less cautious around water. Be sure that your child swims only when a watchful adult is present.
Make sure they know these key swimming rules:
These aids can deflate, or a child can slip out of them. Also, children can learn habits using these devices that can put them at risk for drowning. For example, a child who often uses water wings may learn to jump into a pool on impulse. They may jump in while not wearing the devices, before having a chance to think about it.
The water watcher's only job is to watch children in or near water. If you're the water watcher, put down your cell phone and avoid other activities. Trade off with another sober adult for breaks.
Current as of:
September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: John Pope MD - PediatricsKathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
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