Home Water Hazards for Young Children
Each year many young children drown in swimming pools, other bodies of water, and standing water around the home:
- Bathtubs, even with baby bathtub “supporting ring” devices
- Buckets and pails, especially 5-gallon buckets and diaper pails
- Ice chests with melted ice
- Hot tubs, spas, and whirlpools
- Irrigation ditches, post holes, and wells
- Fish ponds, fountains
Children must be watched by an adult at all times when in or near water. Children may drown in an inch or 2 of water. Stay within an arm’s length of your child.
Other safety activities include the following:
- Empty all buckets, pails, and bathtubs completely after each use — do not leave them filled and unattended.
- Keep young children out of the bathroom unless they are closely watched.
- Teach others in the home to keep the bathroom door closed. Install a hook-and-eye latch or doorknob cover on the outside of the door.
- Never leave a child alone in a bathtub or in the care of another child, even for a moment.
- Use a rigid, lockable cover on a hot tub, spa, or whirlpool, or fence in all 4 sides as you would for a swimming pool.
- Set your water heater thermostat so that the hottest temperature at the faucet is 120°F to avoid burns.
- Throw away or tightly cover water or chemical mixtures after use.
- Watch children closely when they are playing near wells, open post holes, or irrigation or drainage ditches.
- Fill in empty holes or have fences installed to protect your child.
- Learn CPR and know how to get emergency help.
- Last Updated
- TIPP—The Injury Prevention Program (Copyright © 1994 American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 9/2005)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.