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Lifeguard Your Child: Prevent Bathtub Drownings

Learn and share tips from Cook Children's experts on keeping your little ones safe during National Bath Safety Month.

By Charlotte Settle

Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4. It only takes a second for a child to slip underwater, and oftentimes, babies and toddlers are unable to pull themselves up.  

It is vitally important to practice water safety not just in pools, oceans, and lakes, but also in the bathtub. Drowning can happen in only an inch or two of water—just enough to cover your child’s nose and mouth. 

Bathtub Safety Tips

Cook Children’s has seen an increase in bathtub drownings in the last few years, and we want to help you keep your little ones safe. We started the Lifeguard Your Child™ Campaign to spread water safety awareness far and wide, and we’ve shared some of our tried and true tips below: 

  1. Ensure an adult stays at the side of the tub within reach of the child throughout the entire bath. This is too big of a responsibility for siblings and other children, so don’t ask them to take over for you. 
  2. Avoid multitasking. Preparing dinner, folding laundry, or any other housekeeping tasks can and must wait until after the bath is over.
  3. Ignore distractions like the doorbell or cell phones. Stepping or looking away from your child for even a few seconds can put them at risk of drowning.
  4. Be prepared. Keep a towel and bath supplies close at hand, so you do not need to get up and leave during bath time. 
  5. Treat every bath as a time to relax and bond with your baby or toddler. Bath toys like foam letters, animals that shoot water, and waterproof books are a great way to make the bathtub more fun and teach your child new things at the same time! 
  6. Safety proof your home to prevent young children from accessing the bathroom without an adult. The more barriers in place, the safer your child will be.
  7. If you absolutely have to leave during bath time, swaddle your child in a towel and bring them with you. 
  8. Remove all toys and drain the tub immediately after each use.

The Importance of Family CPR Lessons

While we wish all cases of childhood drowning could be prevented, sometimes they can’t. And when they can’t, every second matters. If something goes wrong, quick, efficient CPR can be the difference between life and death while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive. 

Learning CPR is an important part of any family’s safety plan. We can’t stress enough the importance of being ready to act in critical situations. To sign up for classes, check with your local Red Cross or YMCA. 

Help Us Share the Message 

Remove all toysNow that you know all the ways to protect kids from drowning in the bathtub, help us spread the #LifeguardYourChild message. It takes a village, and together, we can save another child’s life. 


About The Lifeguard Your Child ™ Campaign

Cook Children's Lifeguard Your Child Campaign encourages parents everywhere to create a safety plan for ANY time their children are around water—whether its swim time, unplanned time around water, or even bath time. Water safety is important at any age, and when it comes to drowning, every second counts. It’s silent and can happen in an instant. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1 to 4, and the second leading cause for kids ages 1-14 in Texas. But with your help, we can change that.

Together, we are asking everyone to Lifeguard Your Child around water. Click the below link to learn more about how to get involved or create an awareness campaign in your community.

Get Involved