Children’s Water Safety Tips for the Home
Most new parents are aware of the important task of baby proofing their home, carefully anchoring furniture, covering outlets, removing cords, installing baby gates, locking cabinets, and more. Sharp edges become a hazard and stove knobs pose a threat. Keeping your sweet baby healthy means everything and the extra precautions you take to provide a safer space for all to enjoy the comforts of home. Thankfully, there are plenty of checklists and resources available online. As little ones grow and become more curious and mobile, baby proofing becomes childproofing. With families spending more time at home due to COVID-19, taking inventory of your environment for potential safety hazards is critical. The focus of today’s blog is on keeping children safe around areas with water at home.
KidsHealth from Nemours reminds caregivers that water safety is more than pool safety. It’s areas of the home with water, such as the bathroom and kitchen as well as “things you might not think about — like catchment ponds, drainage ditches and runoff areas in your neighborhood.” The National Safety Council (NSC) reports “drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1 to 4 years and ages 10 to 14 years.” Dangers include children “falling into a pool or being left alone in the bathtub,” and NSC notes “bathtubs, toilets and even buckets also can pose a danger for very young children.”
Some helpful water safety precautions from NSC include:
- Stay with your child around water
- Enroll your child in swim lessons but remember “lessons do not make your child ‘drown-proof’”
- Keep children away from drains and suction fittings
- Have a first aid kit nearby
- Be trained in CPR
- Remember “if a child is missing, check the water first”
HealthyChildren.org shares essential bathroom safety tips for parents and caregivers to keep in mind. At the top of their list is making the room “inaccessible unless your child is accompanied by an adult.” One method for this precaution is installing a door latch at adult height. Since children can drown in just a few inches of water, “never leave a young child alone in the bath, even for a moment.” Distractions in today’s world include the phone and doorbell. Monitor the temperature of water in the bath and adjust your water heater (no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit). They also suggest installing toilet lid locks and keeping toilet lids closed when not in use. Review the HealthyChildren.org website for more tips, including suggestions for medicine and toiletry storage and electrical appliances in the bathroom.
Precautions Around Pools
PoolSafety.gov emphasizes the dangers posed by pool drains, asking caregivers to avoid “a pool or spa that has a loose, broken or missing drain cover.” Be sure that compliant drain covers are present in pools and spas. Before entering a home spa, check for the emergency vacuum shutoff. They also detail the proper height for a pool fence, which should be at least four feet tall surrounding “the pool or spa on all sides and should not be climbable for children” (Norton’s Children recommends a self-closing gate with a childproof lock). Consider additional barriers or alarms as well, as they may save a life.
We Are Here to Help
Children often don’t see danger when playing near water. That’s why there are special laws to protect them. Our personal injury attorneys have represented many child injury cases on behalf of young victims. Contact our personal injury firm if your child has been injured in a household accident in South Carolina. We offer a free consultation and 24-hour answering service. We have five convenient locations, with three South Carolina locations being fully staffed with full-time attorneys and experienced support staff, or we can meet you at your home or hospital, with evening and weekend appointments available. Call John Price Law Firm, LLC at (843) 552-6011.