*From Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle
Drowning is noisy. I'll hear my child splashing and struggling in time to help.
Maybe in the movies, but not in real life. This myth really endangers young children. They don't have the ability to figure out what to do, such as right themselves or stand up, even in a few inches of water. As a result, they just "slip away" in silence.
Toddlers and preschoolers need constant adult supervision and life vests that fit each time they play near or in the water or on a dock. Most drownings happen during a brief lapse in supervision, when a parent becomes distracted or involved in some other activity. A life vest is no substitute for supervision, but it can buy time.
I don't live or vacation near the water, so I don't need to worry.
There are water hazards in and around every home. Toddlers have drowned in five-gallon buckets, garden ponds and toilet bowls. Keep young children out of the bathroom, except when directly supervised and don't leave buckets or barrels where they can gather water. Children can drown in just a few inches of water.
Stay in the bathroom with young children each minute they are in the bathtub. Remember myth #1 and don't leave the room thinking that splashing noises or a slightly older sibling will alert you to trouble. A baby's or toddler's bath should only be entrusted to adults.
More myths tomorrow!