Babies are generally sturdier than people first imagine. Despite looking frail and delicate, infants can rebound after trauma that would bring older people to their knees.
As resilient as babies are, they are never sturdy enough to take care of themselves alone in the bathtub. A recent case in Killeen, Texas involving an 8-month old boy has demonstrated how quickly babies can suffer devastating bathtub injuries or even death if they are neglected by their parents or babysitters.
An Overview of the Texas Infant Bathtub Case
The Killeen, Texas case involves a babysitter who neglected to properly supervise an eight-month old baby boy in her care. The babysitter apparently left th baby in the bathtub alone. He was found soon afterwards face down and unresponsive in the water.
Paramedics rushed the little boy to the hospital where he remains in the intensive care unit. Doctors have not said if the baby is expected to recover. Authorities likewise have not commented about the culpability of the babysitter or the extent of the baby’s injuries.
The baby was revived, however, and listed in stable condition. Even so, this case brings to light the dangers involved with leaving an infant unattended in the bathtub for even the shortest amount of time.
Even if the baby can sit up unassisted, he or she can still topple over and be unable to get back up in just a few seconds. During those few short seconds, the baby can actually drown, even if the tub is only filled with a few inches of water.
Babies who suffer bathtub-related injuries also face an uphill battle in their recoveries. They may develop pneumonia in their lungs from inhaling water.
They also may suffer neurological consequences if they were without oxygen for just a few minutes. What seems like an innocent and harmless decision to leave a baby alone for a minute or two could result in a life’s worth of pain and suffering that could have been easily prevented.
The Alarming Statistics of Infant Bathtub Injuries
The Centers of Disease Control in Atlanta and other health and safety organizations keep track of how many babies and toddlers are hurt or killed each year in bathtub-related incidents. From 2006 to 2010, more than 600 children under the age of five were hurt while being left alone in the bathtub.
Out of those 600 plus children, more than 400 died. These deaths could have been easily prevented had the children’s caretakers remained in the bathroom with them. Safety experts warn parents and caretakers alike to never take their eyes off children in the tub. It only takes a second for a child to knock himself or herself out or fall face forward into the water and drown.
Furthermore, experts advise parents and babysitters to learn infant and child CPR for such crises. Starting CPR immediately is crucial to preventing organ and brain damage as well as bettering the child’s chances for total recovery.
Organizations like the Red Cross offer infant and child CPR regularly. The classes are offered for low prices or even for free. They teach you everything you need to know in order to perform CPR safely and effectively.
Babies are resilient creatures who are also cunning and dangerous when left to their own devices. Caretakers and parents who turn their backs or leave the bathroom for even a few minutes risk a lot.
Their babies could fall or sink into the water and get hurt or killed. Hundreds of babies suffer such injuries every year. Safety experts warn that these cases can be prevented by constantly keeping watch of infants in the bathtub. Caretakers and parents should also know infant and child CPR.
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