Leaving Baby Alone in the Bathtub
Risk: Tub drownings peak between 6 and 11 months when a baby can sit up on his own and a parent can be fooled into thinking it's safe to turn her back -- just for a moment. Bath rings and seats also lend a false sense of security; babies can still slip or tip over in these devices, so they're no substitute for continuous adult supervision. Toilets and filled buckets present other drowning dangers that new parents overlook. "A baby who leans over to peer inside either of these can topple into the water and get stuck," says Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Chicago.
Remedy: Always stay within arm's reach of your baby in the tub. If you need to leave the bathroom even for a few seconds, wrap him in a towel and take him with you. Use as little water as necessary in the tub. Put lid locks on toilets, keep bathroom doors closed, and avoid large buckets, which are especially hazardous to babies and toddlers.