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Child Drowning Dangers Never End, CPSC Warns

Many children drown in bathtubs, even buckets 

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As part of Baby Safety Month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning parents and caregivers about in-home drowning hazards. "Summer is over and many pools are now closed, but drowning dangers never end," said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. "Parents of young children need to know there are other drowning hazards in and around the home."

An average of about 240 children under 5 years old drown in swimming pools nationwide each year. But CPSC also has reports of about 110 children under 5 who have drowned in other products in and around the home each year. These products include bathtubs, hot tubs, spas, buckets and other containers.

More children drown in bathtubs than in any other product in the home. In 2001 (the most recent year of complete data), CPSC reported 72 children under 5 who drowned in bathtubs, and more than half were under 1 year old. Most cases involved a child left unattended in the tub.

In several of the bathtub incidents, children were left to play in a tub with the water running and the drain left open. The parent or caregiver assumed the open drain would prevent the bathtub from filling up and left the bathroom. When they returned, the drain was closed or clogged, the water had filled the bathtub, and the child was submerged.

CPSC is aware of 13 children under 5 who died in spas or hot tubs in 2001, 11 deaths involving 5-gallon buckets, seven involving other-sized buckets, five deaths in wading pools, four deaths in landscape ponds and one death in a plastic basin.

"Man-made landscape ponds seem to be getting more popular with gardeners now, and since they frequently include fish and fountains, they are sure to attract toddlers," Stratton said. "They often are installed with no barriers to prevent access."

CPSC offers these very important Home Drowning Prevention Tips

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