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Rub-a-Dub: Safely

For babies under age 1, bathtubs are even more dangerous than swimming pools: They're the number one cause of drowning. And a quarter of all serious scalds in kids 4 and under occur in the bath. It can happen in the wink of an eye too: A baby under water can lose consciousness in two minutes, and permanent brain damage can set in at four to six minutes.

It's easy to prevent accidents. Just stay in the bathroom! Nearly all cases occur when kids are left unsupervised. Take a cordless phone with you so you won't be tempted to leave the room. For safety's sake:

  • Keep the water-heater thermostat under 120°F to prevent scalds.

  • Put a soft, insulated cover over the bathtub faucet.

  • Encourage your child to sit down at all times while in the tub. Small children are top-heavy and can easily fall face first into the water.

  • Put an anti-slip mat or decals on the bottom of your bathtub.

  • After the bath, empty the tub. Remember: A baby can drown in an inch of water.
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