Keep Your Home Safer

Monitor rooms and yards for drowning hazards.

The Basics

  • Water dangers are present in the home and yard.
  • Any water bearing container is a potential hazard. This can include bathtubs, kiddie pools, toilets, sinks, buckets, washing machines, ice chests, and open fish tanks, in addition to pools and hot tubs.
  • Potential residential drowning hazards change with age: Children less than one year old regularly drown in bathtubs, buckets, or toilets. Children ages 1-4 most frequently drown in backyard pools.
  • Never leave a child or children unattended in the bathtub. If you must exit the room, take the child/children with you.

Action Items

  • Enroll in water safety, first aid, and CPR courses to understand how to respond quickly in an aquatic emergency. The American Red Cross offers all three types of classes.
  • Check each room of your home for water hazards.
  • Check your yard for water hazards such as kiddie pools, buckets, and other containers.
  • Use physical barriers to restrict contact with any source of water.
  • Remove ladders from above-ground pools following use.
  • Affix child-safe door locks to all bathroom and laundry room doors.
  • Educate babysitters: Babysitting: Pool Safety. (TeensHealth from Nemours)
  • Affix child-safe door locks to all bathroom and laundry room doors.
  • Read all of the Water Safety Tips. Next layer: CHECK WATER SOURCES FIRST.
  • Take and share the Water Safety Quiz

Dive Deeper

Bath Time

  • Never leave a child or children unattended in a baby bath, bath seat, bath ring, or bathtub. Maintain constant adult supervision and keep the child within arm’s reach
  • Gather and assemble the necessary bathing products before the bath. Arrange them within arm’s reach. Keep a phone handy for an emergency but do not be distracted by it or anything else.
  • If you need to slip out of the room for even a second, take the child with you.
  • When bath time is over, empty baby baths and bathtubs immediately.

Toilets

  • Toilet lid locks can prevent children from dropping objects in the toilet. If you use toilet lid locks in your home, show babysitters, grandparents, caregivers, housekeepers, and guests how to use them.

Sinks

  • For activities that require a full sink, such as laundry, use a child-safe door lock.
  • Empty all sinks after every use.

Yard Hazards

  • Reduce yard hazards by restricting access to water sources. For information on isolation fencing, gates, and other physical barriers, see Barriers Around Water.
  • Remove ladders from above-ground pools when not in use.
  • Empty kiddie pools, buckets, and other containers promptly after use. Store them upside down in a secure location inaccessible to children.
  • Do not allow children to swim, play, or engage in any other poolside activity alone, EVEN if they know how to swim.

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First-Hand Stories

Christian and Joshua DeMello
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