Toddlers are curious about the world around them. Together with their growing physical skills, your home becomes an exciting world to explore, but also a dangerous place for an unsupervised toddler. They can get into trouble in the most unexpected places – including drowning at home. So it is important for parents to know how to prevent drowning accidents at home.
Recently, a toddler drowned at home in a bucket of water, reminding parents of the importance of knowing how to prevent drowning accidents at home as well as outside.
Toddler Drowns in Bucket of Water at Home
A 14-month-old toddler drowned, after submerging himself into a bucket of water at home.
His mother rushed to the toilet hearing sounds of water splashing and found her child lifeless. The little boy was inside the bucket, head first. She immediately called her husband for help. The couple were having their lunch when this incident happened.
She claims that the bucket was empty as she was using it to bathe the boy’s older sibling earlier in the day.
The boy was rushed to a health clinic but was pronounced dead by medical officers. The case has been classified as sudden death.
No external injuries were found on the boy, who was only in diapers. Police found no evidence of crime or foul play, but investigations continue.
How to Prevent Drowning Accidents From Happening at Home
Stories like these make mums like us clutch our chests and hold our children tighter at night. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fatal drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 and the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children 5 to 14.
The most important thing on how to prevent drowning accidents at home – never leave your child unsupervised | Source: File photo
It’s very easy for babies and toddlers to drown. In fact, they can drown in waters as low as 2.5cm and it can happen in under a minute. So it’s not just inflatable pools and children’s pools that can pose a risk, but also things you wouldn’t expect like bathroom sinks and buckets of water.
Always supervise your toddlers in the bathroom.
Here’s how to prevent drowning accidents from happening at home:
Never ever leave your baby alone in the bathroom.
Even if there’s an emergency you need to attend to at home, like answering the door or picking up a house call, ask another adult to supervise or wrap your baby in a towel and carry them with you to whatever you need to do. Do not expect your baby’s older sibling to keep watch – even a slight slip can prove fatal.
As long as you have a baby in the house, do not leave any water filled up at home.
This includes buckets, tubs, and any containers be it in the bathroom or the kitchen.
If possible, you can install a toilet seat locking device to keep the toilet lid closed.
Otherwise, always remember to keep the bathroom door closed, and remind your other children as well.
Bathtub seats and supporting rings should only be used for your baby under your direct supervision.
These seats can be slippery or overturn and your baby could accidentally slip into the water.
Take First Aid Lessons to Save Your Drowning Child
How to prevent drowning accidents – learn baby and child first aid and CPR | Source: Adobe Stock
Spare the time to learn CPR and child first aid care so you can act quickly to save your child in an emergency. You can learn an accredited course with the Singapore Emergency Responder Academy. The course costs S$194 (including GST) for 2.5 days of learning child and infant first aid management and how to perform CPR.
You will also learn how to respond to different emergencies in various situations before an emergency medical team arrives.
For parents who don’t require a certification, ParentLink also offers baby and child first aid and CPR classes at S$90. This is a basic three-hour class that can be done in the comfort of your own home. The class is conducted by Eileen Goh, a registered nurse, paramedic and certified first aid instructor (St John’s Ambulance).
Moreover, here are five important steps to take when providing first aid to a drowning child:
Remove the child from the water immediately and check for responsiveness. If the child is not breathing or has no pulse, begin CPR immediately.
Clear the child’s airway of any water or other obstructions.
If the child is conscious and breathing, place them in a recovery position on their side to help them breathe more easily.
Keep the child warm and dry, and monitor their breathing and vital signs until emergency medical services arrive.
Remember that drowning can be a silent and quick event, so always keep a close eye on children who are swimming or playing in or near the water.
Do not wait until your child’s life is in danger before you respond. If your child is drowning, act and call for help immediately.
At the same time, it is crucial for parents to take steps to babyproof their homes and ensure the safety of their children around water, as drowning can occur quickly and even in small amounts of water.
Image Source: iStock
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