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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Safety Tips to Avoid the Tragedy of Home Drowning

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
Tragically, there have been two separate incidents of death of young children by (reported) drowning in Prince George’s County, Maryland, within hours of each.   The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is the lead agency in the Prince George’s County Coalition of Safe Kids USA and we want to remind parents and caregivers of basic safety tips to avoid these tragic incidents.  Safe Kids USA is a nationwide network of organizations working to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability for children ages 1 to 14.
Safe Kids USA educate families, provide safety devices to families in need and advocate for better laws to help keep children safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. 
The home environment has many hidden drowning hazards for children. Drowning deaths can occur not only in pools and spas, but also in bathtubs, toilets and buckets. Keep these safety tips in mind to make your home safer from these hidden hazards.  The best advice is to never leave a child alone in a bathtub or in any body of water, even just for a moment.
On Monday evening around 8:45 pm firefighters and paramedics worked to save the life of a 6-year-old female that caregivers reported had drowned in a bathtub on Hubbard Road in Landover.
On Tuesday morning, around 10:45 am, firefighter/medics did everything they could to save the life of an 11-month-old male reported to have drowned in a bathtub on Evans Trail in Beltsville.
Despite the best efforts of dispatchers, firefighters, medics and emergency department staff both of these children succumbed.  The County Police Department is investigating each of these tragic deaths.
For additional information about programs to promote safety for children contact the Fire/EMS Departments Community Outreach office at 301-883-5250.
For additional information on CPR courses call the Fire/EMS Department's CPR Information line at 301-864-LIVE (5483).
The men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department and Safe Kids USA provide the following safety tips.  Remember, Safety First – Ensures Everyone Goes Home. 

Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.

Large 5-gallon buckets are common household items and may be a potential hazard. Empty all buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside-down and out of children’s reach.

Keep toilet lids closed and use toilet seat locks. According to the CPSC, toilets are overlooked as a source of drowning in the home – toddlers can fall headfirst into the toilet.

Once bath time is over, immediately drain the tub.

Always stay within an arm’s reach of your child when he or she is in or near pools, spas, bathtubs, toilets or buckets.

Never leave your child unattended in a tub or around any other body of water, even if he or she knows how to swim.

Never leave your child alone or in the care of older children during bath time.

Children in baby bath seats and rings must be watched every second.

Learn adult and infant CPR.
Did you know??

One-third as many children under age 5 drown from other hazards around the home as drown in pools (CPSC).

Two-thirds of drowning deaths in the home, not including pools, occur in bathtubs (CPSC).

Home swimming pools are the most common place for a child younger than age 5 to drown.

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