Written by Dr. Chetan Ginigeri
Kids love their splash time. They try to catch the running water, love to play with bath toys; in short, water play is one of the ways the baby tends to calm down and enjoy. Water is the best way to refresh for all, but one needs to be safe also, most importantly, when it is with babies or kids. It has been noticed that drowning is one of the most common reasons for death among toddlers in recent years. Another important fact is that drowning does not take too much time. It can happen in less than 25 seconds. Hence it is important to know the measures to take to prevent drowning.
Hence, it is not advisable to leave the baby alone or to make assumptions that the infant is safe as there is less water. Remember, drowning can take place promptly, even in less than 1 inch of water. Therefore, a little water in bathtubs, and even in buckets and sinks can pose a danger for your little one. And hazards can happen anytime, so we should not take any chances. The babies, in general, are explorative and experimenting by nature, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
In This Article
The process of drowning can happen too fast and even a lesser than 2.5 cm of water level can potentially pave the way for drowning. In our homes, we have different means to use and store water and the baby keeps noticing it while moving. The mind of your little one is always up to some mischief, though it is done purely out of curiosity. So, one needs to keep all the vessels and containers safely closed, and out of the reach of the little ones to prevent drowning.
Let us see what best can be done to avoid potential health hazards arising from these:
These are some of the places in a home where the baby has a good time of his day. A bathtub is one of the areas the baby enjoys the most as it is very spacious, and they can even play with their bath toys there. The bathtub can be filled with water, and the baby can have a good time splashing and playing with foam.
However, it is crucial to check a few points to avoid any potential threats to the baby, and they are as below.
If you have a little one in your home, it is essential to make certain preparations in case of an emergency. Follow these steps:
We understand entirely childproofing your home can be a difficult task. If you can’t childproof the entire house, you can at least install doorknob covers in any room that hasn’t been properly childproofed so that a baby shouldn’t enter it. That is very important to prevent drowning.
Always supervise the kids when they are near water. Especially the newborns, kids of 3-5 years of age, etc. Never leave them alone with other children. Another important aspect to note is that the adult should be an arms distance away from the baby and not bust on talking on phones, catching with friends, or leaving the baby near water to finish the unfinished chores.
Still, if the baby drowns take the following first aid measures:
Remember, the first 48 hours after a drowning incident is very crucial. Most of the complications due to water exposure, like pneumonia, infections, etc., appear during this time. Therefore, in case of a drowning incident, even though he or she seems okay after the first aid to you, take your little one to the hospital as soon as possible.
Thus, the ideal situation for saving kids from drowning is through proper training and guidance. It is important for the kid to know the safety measures to take. Tell them about trading and floating in the water, and if possible, one can enroll in swimming classes as well. Never allow the kids, whether a baby, toddler, or school-age child, to go alone near any area which has water unless a guardian is there.
It seems as if there is a wide range of opinions about the age at which a child can safely bathe alone, so parents should exercise caution. Some experts suggest age 4, while others suggest a mature 6-year-old is the appropriate age to leave kids alone in the bath. To be on the safe side, children under the age of six must not leave alone in the bath to prevent drowning.
Submerging a baby underwater is not a good idea. Rather than waiting until your baby is ready to submerge underwater, directly submerging them can result in water entering the mouth and directly entering the stomach and lungs.
Dry drowning indicates that no water is present in the lungs. During dry drowning, the larynx (voice box) constricts and seizes, preventing airflow to the lungs. Inhaling water suddenly is the root cause of it. However, despite not reaching the lungs, water may cause the throat to swell, obstructing airflow if it comes into quick or forceful contact with it. This ends up in dry drowning.
For two to three days after inhaling water, closely monitor the baby for labored breathing, worsening cough, or fever. When this happens, make sure they see a doctor right away. The baby may develop pneumonia if some fluid gets into their lungs.
Dr Chetan Ginigeri is an experienced Pediatric Intensivist with national and international training. With 15 years of experience, he is one among very few Intensivists in India trained to take care of children who need/had organ transplants. He has been responsible for coordinating the Pediatric Organ Transplant program.Read more.
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