Last week, in Tyler, Tex., little Ava Faith Ayers drowned in her family's backyard pool. It was the day of her second birthday.
Her babysitter got distracted; the toddler wandered out, fell in and died there.
A tragic, preventable loss -- the stuff of which parenting nightmares are made.
But if you give a brief thought of sorrow for the family and then thank your lucky stars you don't have to worry about drowning since you don't have a pool, then you need to look around your house with new eyes because toddlers are drowning EVERYWHERE.
Just because summer has ended doesn't mean drowning dangers aren't still lurking.
A few recent stories:
In Chicago a 5-month-old baby boy rolled off a bed, fell into a bucket and drowned. There are questions as to why a bucket was there, and it raised concerns about co-sleeping, but most every home has a bucket -- indoors or out. And whether you leave your mop water sitting alone for a few minutes or a bucket outside fills up with rainwater, your toddler could die because it.
Have a septic tank? A 2-year-old in Wyoming was outside playing when he somehow fell into his family's septic tank and drowned in the contents.
This summer in Canada, a father ran downstairs to turn off the stove, and his 1-year-old son drowned while taking a bath.
Earlier this month in Arizona a 1-year-old was found face first in a toilet and nearly drowned. Thankfully, she survived, but many others aren't so lucky.
In May, a toddler drowned in a fish tank that was left on the floor.
The tragic stories are endless.
The fact is: Where there's water, there are drowning dangers. Parents must be vigilant about knowing where toddlers are at all times, because drowning only takes seconds.
Here are some important home safety reminders from SafeKids.org:
- Always stay within an arm's reach of your child when he or she is in or near the bathtub, toilet, pools, spas or buckets. Never leave your child alone or in the care of older children during bath time.
- Once bath time is over, immediately drain the tub.
- Empty all buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside-down and out of children's reach.
- Keep toilet lids closed and use toilet seat locks.
- Never leave your child unattended in a tub or around any other body of water, even if he or she knows how to swim.
- Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.
- Children in baby bath seats and rings must be watched every second.
Has your child ever had a close call with drowning?
Image via jelene/Flickr