The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges parents and caregivers of young children to look for and protect against drowning risks inside and around their homes. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4 years-old, and recent studies suggest that this danger is rising. After pools, bathtubs are the second leading location where young children drown.
According to a new CPSC report on in-home drownings, from 2006 to 2010, there were 684 incidents (81% of the incidents involved bathtubs or bath related products) involving children ages 1 to 4 years-old. Out of these 684 reports, 434 were fatalities (an average of 87 per year), 233 suffered injuries, and 17 incidents had no known injuries. Eighty-two percent of the victims were younger than the age of two.
Ninety-two percent of the fatalities occurred in residential settings, 28 percent involved a lapse in supervision, and in 23 percent of the reported fatalities the child was left with another child, usually older. In 10 percent of the fatalities, the child was found in a product outside the home, such as decorative yard equipment or a bucket. Another 3 percent of victims were found inside the home in a bucket/container or trash basket that was being used for cleaning.
CPSC’s drowning prevention safety tips include:
* Never leave young children alone near any water or tub or basin with fluid. Young children can drown in even small amounts of liquid.
* Always keep a young child within arm’s reach in a bathtub. If you must leave, take the child with you.
* Don’t leave a baby or young child in a bathtub under the care of another child.
* Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. Toddlers are top heavy and they can fall headfirst into buckets and drown. After using a bucket, always empty and store it where young children cannot reach it. Don’t leave buckets outside where they can collect rainwater.
* Consider placing locks on toilet seat covers in case a young child wanders into the bathroom.
* Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). It can be a lifesaver when seconds count.
If you or a family member have suffered significant personal injuries as the result of a drowning accident due to another’s negligence, or if a loved one has suffered a wrongful death after engaging in a water-based activity such as swimming or boating, please contact us. You can call us at (617) 742-1900, or if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.