The warning bears repeating again, again and again

The warning bears repeating again, again and again.

The on-line version of the Chicago Sun Times carried this story today:

Infant drowns in water pail,CST-NWS-baby19.article

In a previous post (, I discussed another infant drowning in a sump pump pit.  Granted, a drowning in a sump pump pit is a pretty rare event, especially since sump pits usually have lids that are supposed to be used with them.  In the case of the infant in the Sun Times article, the culprit is a common water pail.

But, water pails are not the only potential downing locations.  Every adult who is responsible for watching kids should know about the drowning potential of bathtubs, sinks or other bathing facilities.  What about toilets?  As I stated in the previous post and will repeat here, infants and toddlers can drown in only a few inches of water.  Exasperating the drowning potential is the fact that infants and toddlers are head-heavy.  If they fall into a container of water head-first, they likely will not be able to get out of the container, whatever it is.

Containers are not the only potential drowning places.  Fountains, pools, ponds, streams–any body of water should be off-limits to infants and toddlers.  If they are mobile, they are not the steadiest people on their feet.  On visits to Fountain Square in Cincinnati, I have watched many parents let their young ones walk on the lip of the various parts of the fountains.  I have to wonder what are those parents thinking.  What would happen if they looked away for a short time or could not make it to the fountain in enough time.

Apparently, the City of Cincinnati thought about this issue because the main fountain now has a low fence installed along the inside lip of the large fountain.  My son thinks it is because of other reasons, such as adults using the pool for other means.  Even still, maybe Cincinnati helped resolve another potential issue at the same time.

If you are a child’s caretaker, don’t just react.  Anticipate if you can what the child is going to do.  And take stories like the one in the Sun Times as a warning and be educated.

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