The Harris County District
Attorney’s Office on Thursday warned against allowing children being left alone
in the bathtub or allowed access to unsupervised pools.
As the weather warms up,
young children are drawn to unsupervised pools and parents sometimes let babies
or toddlers splash around in a bathtub without supervision, either of which are
dangerous and can even be fatal.
“These are tragedies for the
entire community, and they are imminently preventable and completely
avoidable,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. “Parents and
caretakers have a responsibility to never allow a small child to be left alone
Drowning is the second
leading cause of injury death for children ages 1-14 years in America. More
children ages 1 to 4 years old die from drowning than any other cause of death
except birth defects according to the Centers for Disease Control and
The bathtub is a dangerous
place for young children, even toddlers, to be unsupervised.
“Parents and caregivers
should carefully monitor their young children when they are in the tub,
particularly if they are very young or have special needs,” said Lacy Johnson,
chief prosecutor in the Child Fatality Section of the District Attorney’s
Office. “Parents should never leave babies alone in the tub. Even if a child
can sit up or even stand, it doesn’t mean they can be left alone.”
The American Academy of
Pediatrics advises that children can drown in only a few inches of water, so
never leave a young child alone in the bath, even for a moment.
The organization advises that
if a caretaker can't ignore the doorbell or the phone, then the child should be
wrapped in a towel and taken along when answering the door or phone.
The group also notes that
bath seats and rings are meant to be bathing aids and will not prevent drowning
if the child is left unattended. It is also important to have everything
necessary within arm's reach before beginning the bath.
Never leave water in the
bathtub when it is not in use.
Bathroom Safety Tips from the
American Academy of Pediatrics can be found at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/Pages/Bathroom-Safety.aspx