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WASHINGTON, DC - Water anywhere can be a potential drowning hazard. While pools are an obvious risk, parents should not let their guard down around other hazards such as bathtubs and buckets. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning parents that children need to be supervised around these common but sometimes hidden drowning dangers.
After pools, more children drown in bathtubs than in any other product in and around the home. From 2002 through 2004, CPSC has reports (pdf) of 221 children younger than 5 who drowned in bathing-related incidents. Most of these children were younger than 2 years old. Often these incidents involve caregivers leaving the room momentarily 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.
Reported drowning incidents received by CPSC confirms another drowning hazard - buckets. CPSC has reports of 94 bucket-related drowning or submersion fatalities from 1999 through 2006. All but one of these deaths were to children less than 2 years old.
"A child can drown very quickly in only inches of water," said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. "Bathtubs, buckets, and other containers in and around the home pose drowning hazards all year long."
CPSC recommends parents and caregivers follow these safety tips when children are around bathtubs, buckets, spas, or decorative ponds or fountains: