Bathtub safety

Mom holding an infant in a wading poolBabies under one year of age are more likely to drown in the bathtub than in any other place. Here's how to reduce the risk of your child drowning in a bathtub:

Supervise at all times. Babies can drown in as little as 2.5 centimetres (one inch) of water in just a few seconds. It is important to always stay within sight and reach of your child when in, on or around water.

Don't rely on older children. Never leave a baby alone in a bathtub with an older brother or sister. Many drownings have occurred when children were supervised by an older sibling.

Bath seats and bath rings are not safe. In 2005, Health Canada issued an advisory on bath seats and bath rings. Canadian pediatricians reported 20 injuries and 12 near-miss drowning incidents involving baby bath seats between 2003 and 2005. Bath seats and rings give parents and caregivers a false sense of security. Parents reported that they were more comfortable leaving their baby alone in the bathtub for a few moments if the baby was in a bath seat. But bath seats and rings pose risks. If your baby slips under the bath ring, the bath ring can trap your baby under the water. In addition, the arms that attach to the side of the tub can slip. This can also trap your baby under the water.

For more information on the hazards of bath seats and bath rings visit Consumer Product Safety, Health Canada or call 1-866-662-0666.