CPSC, Industry & Safety Groups Mark Baby Safety Month with Drowning Prevention Campaign

September 04, 2003
Release Number: 03-177

September is Baby Safety Month. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, Inc. (JPMA), Babies "R" Us and other child safety organizations are marking Baby Safety Month with the launch of an information campaign on water safety and preventing drowning in and around the home.

"Mention drowning hazards, and most likely the first thing that comes to mind is the dangers of backyard pools," said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. "In recent years, an average of about 250 children under 5-years-old drown in pools nationwide each year, but about 115 additional young children drown in other products in and around the homes - including bathtubs, buckets, toilets, hot tubs, spas and other containers."

As part of the campaign to prevent these drowning deaths, CPSC is providing safety tips for parents and caregivers. A main feature of the campaign is the distribution of a new color pamphlet (pdf)
on water safety tips. Babies "R" Us provided nearly 200,000 of the color pamphlets in English and Spanish to the commission, and is distributing additional copies throughout their 188 Babies "R" Us stores and 679 Toys "R" Us stores.

JPMA, the creator and sponsor of Baby Safety Month, is a national trade organization of more than 400 companies in North America. JPMA uses Baby Safety Month to reach childcare providers with safety education messages through in-store Baby Safety Month promotions. JPMA provides retailers with promotional kits that include tools and information to hold successful educational seminars and other activities.

In addition to JPMA and Babies "R" Us, other organizations partnering with the commission are First Candle/SIDS Alliance, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, Kids in Danger, and the Danny Foundation. These organizations are using their grassroots networks to distribute this safety information.

In-Home Drowning Prevention Tips include:


-Never leave a baby alone in a bathtub for even a second. Always keep the baby in arm's reach. Don't leave a baby in the care of another young child. Never leave to answer the phone, answer the door, to get a towel or for any other reason. If you must leave, take the baby with you.

-A baby bath seat is not a substitute for supervision. A bath seat is a bathing aid, not a safety device. Babies have slipped or climbed out of bath seats and drowned.

-Never use a baby bath seat in a non-skid, slip-resistant bathtub because the suction cups will not adhere to the bathtub surface or can detach unexpectedly. Babies could tip over and drown.

-Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. When finished using a bucket, always empty it immediately. Don't leave buckets outside where rainwater can collect in them.Young children can drown in a small amount of water.

-Store buckets where young children cannot reach them. Buckets, accessible to children, that are left outside to collect rainwater are a hazard. Toddlers have fallen headfirst into 4- and 5-gallon buckets and drowned.

-Always secure safety covers and barriers to prevent children from gaining access to spas or hot tubs when not in use. Some non-rigid covers, such as solar covers, can allow a small child to slip in the water and the cover would appear to still be in place.

-Keep the toilet lid down to prevent access to the water and consider using a toilet clip to stop young children from opening the lids. Consider placing a latch on the bathroom door out of reach of young children.

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

To get a free copy of the Water Safety Tips pamphlet (pdf) (also, Spanish version - pdf), write to the commission at publications@cpsc.gov or call our hotline at (800) 638-2772.