Bathtubs and Bath Seats a Drowning Hazard for Small Children in North Carolina

Now that Labor Day has passed, you are probably thinking about closing your pool for the year, which means the risk of drowning accidents in Gastonia, Statesville and Asheville will subside for the winter. We hope that you had an accident-free summer following our blog we posted about the Pool Safely campaign on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, in which we provided some safety tips to avoid pool-related injuries or drowning accidents throughout the summer.

Our Greensboro personal injury lawyers know that pools are not the only place a young child can drown at home. We also know that drowning is the number one cause of unintentional deaths among children ages 1 to 4 years old, so parents, babysitters, caregivers, and daycare centers should never leave children unsupervised around water or leave them in a potentially dangerous situation where a water-related accident can result in injury or death.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a warning about indoor water safety and the dangers that buckets, bath seats and bathtubs pose to small children. Bath tubs are the second most popular drowning area for children behind pools.

A new CPSC report looked at 660 submersion incidents involving children under age 5 and not related to a pool or spa from 2005-2009. The study found 65 percent of incidents resulted in death and 32 percent of incidents resulted in injury.

A high percentage of submersion (549 incidents) accidents were children under 2 years old. Additionally, 92 percent of the incidents occurred at a residence. The report indicated that 457 incidents occurred in a full-size bathtub; submersion in bathing aids, buckets and septic tanks were other products or locations proven to be fatal. A child’s death resulted when being left alone in the bath tub in 134 of the fatal incidents.

U.S. News reports that drowning accidents are not the only hazard found in bathtubs. Each year roughly 43,000 children are injured by a slip and fall injury in a bathtub. In a study looking at bathtub and shower-related accidents from 1990 to 2007, researchers found that over 54 percent of injuries happened to children ages 4 and under. Cuts were the most common type of injury with 48 percent occurring on the face.

To prevent a tub or shower accident when bathing small children, the CPSC recommends to:

  • Use slip-resistant mats inside and outside the tub to prevent slipping or being submersed in water from a fall.
  • It doesn’t take much water for a child to drown so keep them away from tubs, basins or anything containing fluid.
  • Never leave a child alone with another child in a tub without adult supervision no matter what the age.
  • Install toilet seat covers on all toilet bowls in your home.
  • Toddlers can be clumsy and top heavy which causes them to fall over and be submersed when containers or buckets are left with water in them.
  • Keep children within arm’s reach at all times while they are in a tub to keep them from slipping or drowning.

If your child has been injured by a defective product, or has been injured in a non-pool or non-spa-related accident in North Carolina, contact the injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free appointment and experienced representation. Call 1-800-887-1965 today.

Additional Resources:

Bathtub Accidents Injure 43,000 U.S. Kids Each Year, by Steven Reinberg, U.S. News & World Report.

More Blog Entries:

Pool Drain Cover Recall Leaves Greensboro Swimmers at Risk of Entrapment or Drowning in Pool Accidents, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, June 5, 2011.

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