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Splashing around in the water at bath time or playtime is great fun for children, yet water presents many possible hazards. Drowning can occur in less than an inch of water, making bathtubs, sinks, pools and even pails a source of great danger. For safety, it’s essential to prevent situations that may lead to accidents.
Never leave a child unattended near water, even for just a few seconds. If the phone or doorbell rings while your baby or young child is in the bathtub, pick him up, wrap him in a towel and take him with you. Do not leave him alone: It takes only a few seconds for drowning to occur. If you leave your baby with a caregiver, make sure he or she knows your safety rules.
Backyard pools, hot tubs, wading pools, even small koi or fishponds, can become dangerous in an instant. Make sure you have a fence around the pool or pond to keep young children from venturing where they shouldn’t, and consider an alarm system on doors leading out to the pool area. Hot tubs should be covered when they are not in use. Wading pools or splash pools should always be emptied when playtime is over.
Scalding burns from hot water are also a potential concern. To be safe, lower your hot water heater settings to 120 degrees F (49 degrees C) to avoid scalding by water that comes out of the bathtub or sink faucets. Test bath water temperature with your hand or elbow to make sure it is at a comfortable temperature before lowering your child into the tub.