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Preventing Common Childhood Injuries

Age: 6 to 8 Months

Risk: Drowning

Submersion injuries and drowning in the bathtub peak at this age, possibly because caretakers mistakenly assume that a baby who is able to sit can be left alone in the tub. Babies have drowned in mere moments in less than 2 inches of water in bathtubs  -- even while using bathtub "supporting ring" devices. They have also drowned in toilets, buckets, pools, ponds, and virtually any body of water.

The rate of accidental injury due to falls from furniture also peaks in this age range, as babies rapidly become more mobile and roll off sofas, chairs, and beds. Falls from stairs also rise as babies start to crawl. The use of walkers has been shown to contribute to falls  -- not only can they tip over or fall down stairs, but they allow a baby to reach locations where he can pull down dangerous objects.

How to prevent drowning:

• Never leave an infant or a young child alone for even an instant in or near a bathtub, bucket of water, toilet, or other body of water.

• Do not leave young children alone in the bathroom or allow them to have unsupervised access to the bathroom.

• Whenever infants and toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm's reach.

• Residential swimming pools and hot tubs should be surrounded by a four-sided fence that's at least four feet high.

• Parents, caretakers, and pool owners should learn CPR and keep a telephone and U.S. Coast GuardÐapproved rescue equipment in the pool area.

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