Whether bathing your child in the bathtub or splashing with your toddler in the pool, water can be a lot of fun for kids. Water can also be dangerous, so it’s important to take special care and precautions to keep your child safe in and around water at all times.
Here are some home water-safety tips for kids:
- The easiest way to avoid bathroom water injuries is to make lavatories inaccessible to small children unless accompanied by an adult. You can do this by adding a lock to the outside of the door, out of your child’s reach.
- It’s possible for children to drown in only a few inches of water. Make an effort to keep the toilet lid closed and possibly to use toilet seat locks to prevent your child from playing in the toilet.
- During bath time, never leave your child unattended. After the bath is over, be sure to immediately drain the tub.
Hot Tub and Spa Safety
- The drowning of children under the age of five accounted for about one-fifth of the deaths that occurred in spas and hot tubs since 1990, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). When a hot tub or spa is not in use, be sure that it is covered with a locked safety cover to prevent children from using it without supervision.
- Hot tub temperatures are also of concern. High temperatures can cause drowsiness, which could lead to unconsciousness – not a good combination in a hot tub. Additionally, increased body temperature can lead to heat stroke and possible death. The CPSC recommends that water temperatures never exceed 104°F.
- Pregnant women and young children should consult their doctors before using a hot tub. The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) notes that infants and toddlers should not be permitted in a hot tub at all, since the child’s thin skin could make the child more susceptible to overheating.
- Never leave your child unattended around any water, but especially around pools. It doesn’t matter if it’s an in-ground pool, an above-ground pool, or even a plastic or inflatable wading pool. Make sure that your child has 100 percent of your attention when he or she is in or around water.
- If the pool is portable, store it upside down, and out of your child’s reach.
- If the pool is not portable, surround it with a self-latching gate or fence that is at least four feet high, in order to make the area inaccessible to children.
- Your town and/or state may have building codes regulating swimming pools, hot tubs and spas, and stiff fines for non-compliance. In some cases, the code could be retroactive to before you bought the pool. Be sure to know the codes for your area.