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Narrator: As much fun as water can be, it's dangerous for young children no matter where you find it – in a pool, tub, sink, or toilet, or even a dog bowl or water bucket.
A baby or toddler can drown in less than an inch of water, and even children who can swim should never be unsupervised.
In fact, in the vast majority of child drowning deaths, the child was under someone's supervision – so it's crucial to understand water safety and maintain an eagle eye.
Dr. James Schmidt: So I can't stress enough the importance of being safe around water. As an emergency physician, I see firsthand the tragedy of drowning.
Narrator: Dr. James Schmidt is an emergency room pediatrician and cofounder of wellhomecheck.org.
Dr. Schmidt will show Jennie, mom to Makayla and Mattie, 11 simple safety measures that can keep children safe around water.
Let's start with the bathroom.
First and foremost, use safe bathtub practices.
Doctor: Especially in the bathroom and around the bathtub, which is one of the most dangerous places for children in terms of drowning, you need to be especially vigilant.
You only need to put about 3 to 4 inches of water in the tub. That's plenty – any more than that poses a risk.
Make sure you support their back so they stay upright.
The most important thing is you have to be within arms' length of them at all times. There is no substitute for that supervision.
Narrator: If you have to leave the bathroom for any reason, bring your child with you.
Once your child's bath is over, immediately drain the tub.
Another aspect of water safety is preventing burns.
Doctor: A child's skin is much more sensitive to hot water than adults. They can get a serious scald in just a matter of a few seconds. So make sure you set your water temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit – that's 49 degrees Celsius – and you will greatly reduce the risk of a serious burn.
Narrator: Tip three: Secure the toilet.
Doctor: Children love to play in the toilet. It is very enticing. There is plenty of water for them to drown in.
Narrator: Invest in a toilet lock and keep the lid closed and locked whenever it's not in use.
For good measure, make sure your child can't enter the bathroom unsupervised.
Keep the door closed and install a safety latch or childproof doorknob cover.
Don't forget to watch for water hazards elsewhere around the house.
Any standing liquid within a small child's reach can be a drowning risk.
So move the dog bowl to higher ground and empty buckets after use.
When you venture out to a pool, hot tub, or open water, keep these tips in mind.
A child who's swimming needs constant supervision.
If you're watching a non-swimmer or beginner swimmer, stay within arms' reach.
Even if you're supervising an accomplished swimmer, don't let your guard down. No matter the age or skill level of the child, watch like a hawk and don't get distracted by socializing, reading, or using the phone.
Don't rely on swim aids or inflatable toys to keep your child safe.
Doctor: Anything that's inflatable or simply foam, that's used as swim aid, it's not a safety device.
Narrator: For maximum safety, choose a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Make sure to get the right size for your child's weight.
Remember that your child needs supervision even when wearing a life jacket.
Formal swimming lessons can set up your child for a lifetime of safe fun in the water. Talk to your child's doctor about the right time to get started.
Make sure that the pool or hot tub drain cover is compliant with federal pool safety laws.
Doctor: The drains themselves can create so much suction they can hold even an adult under the water. So children have drowned from getting their hair or clothes sucked into a drain, and they're held under the water.
So this is the type of drain cover you need to prevent entrapment.
Narrator: Next, be rescue-ready. Make sure that the swim area is equipped with rescue gear like a life preserver, a flotation device, or a life hook.
If there's no phone around, have a mobile with you for emergencies.
Take an infant and child CPR course so you know what to do if you have to resuscitate your child.
Finally, make pools inaccessible.
If you use a kiddie pool, empty out the water after each use and store it upside down so rainwater can't collect in it.
If you have a pool or hot tub, remove all toys from the water and deck so your child isn't tempted to go after them. Put covers in place after use and lock them.
Another key safety device is a fence.
Doctor: It is 4 feet tall, which is the minimum amount we want. It has a non-climbable mesh, has a child resistant gate, and it goes around all sides, and particularly it separates the back of the house from the pool. So that's excellent.
The last thing that we need to look at is whether there's furniture near the fence that children can use to climb over the fence. So I notice the seating area here, we need to move this back so the children can't use it to get over the fence.
For above-ground pools and hot tubs, it also helps to remove or lock up ladders and steps.
Doctor: Hopefully with all these tips in mind, you and your family can have lots of fun and have peace of mind.