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Safety & Prevention

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
  • Toilets
  • 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.

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