Drowning Dangers Never End

The backyard swimming pool isn't the only drowning danger around your home...

An average of about 240 children under 5 years old drown in swimming pools nationwide each year. But the Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC) also has reports of about 110 children under 5 who have drowned in other ways in and around the home each year. These drownings occur in bathtubs, hot tubs, spas, buckets and other large containers.

The bathtub can be deadly

More children drown in bathtubs than in any other way in the home. Most cases involved a child left unattended in the tub. In several repported bathtub incidents, children were left to play in a tub with the water running and the drain left open. The parent or caregiver assumed the open drain would prevent the bathtub from filling up and left the bathroom. When they returned, the drain was closed or clogged, the water had filled the bathtub, and the child was under water.

Home Drowning Prevention Tips

Young children can drown in even small amounts of water. Never leave small kids alone near any water.

Always keep a baby within arm’s reach in a bathtub. Never leave to answer the phone, answer the door, get a towel or for any other reason. If you must leave, take the baby with you.

Don't leave a baby or toddler in a bathtub under the care of another young child.

A baby bath seat is not a substitute for supervision. A bath seat is a bathing aid, not a safety device. Babies can slip or climb out of bath seats and drown.

Keep toilet lids down to prevent access to water. Consider using toilet clips to stop young children from opening the lids.

Secure the bathroom door. Consider keeping children out of bathrooms by using bathroom door latches that are out of reach of young children.

Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. After using a bucket, always empty and store it where young children cannot reach it. Buckets left outside can collect rainwater and are a hazard. Toddlers can fall headfirst into 4- and 5-gallon buckets and drown.

Secure safety covers and barriers: To prevent children from gaining access to spas or hot tubs when not in use, always secure safety covers and barriers. Non-rigid covers (such as solar covers) can appear to be in place even after children slip underneath them into the water.

Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). It can be a lifesaver when seconds count.

Related Safety Information:

The Most Dangerous Room in the House?

6 ways to make your bathroom safe for everyone.


To get a free copy of the Water Safety Tips pamphlet, email CPSC at or call our Hotline at (800) 638-2772.