6-month-old baby drowns in bathtub

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Kristine Harrington

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 6:36 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 29 at 5:12 PM

Map: Near 59th Ave. & Bethany Home

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A 6-month-old baby girl drowned in a bathtub when her mother reportedly stepped away for a moment early Tuesday morning.

Emergency crews say the baby was not breathing and did not have a pulse when they rushed her to Maryvale Hospital. Rescuers started CPR at the baby's home and kept it up all the way to the hospital, but they were not able to save her.

The Glendale Fire Department said they were called to the San Remo Apartments at 59th Avenue and Bethany Home Road shortly before 5 a.m.

The mother reportedly was giving the baby a bath after the girl had soiled her diaper overnight. Mom stepped away for a moment and when she returned, her baby girl was underwater. It's not clear how long she had been submerged.

At 7 a.m., police were still questioning the mother at the family's apartment. She was later taken to the hospital to be with her daughter. Officers had already taken the baby's father to the hospital.

It's not clear if the mother, whose name has not been released, could face charges of negligence.

Glendale police are investigating.

This time of year, we often hear about kids who drown in swimming pools, but child-safety experts say anything that holds water, including bathtubs, toilets and buckets, can be dangerous to little ones. They can drown in just an inch or two of water.

"Please don't walk away from your children," Danny Senese of the Glendale Fire Department said. "And please understand that this doesn't have to happen in a swimming pool or a bathtub. This could happen in a bucket. It could happen in a dog bowl or a toilet -- anything that carries or holds water. We want to make sure we keep our kids safe from those areas."

"Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4," according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

According to a report released in September, there were 660 submersion incidents not involving swimming pools or spas between 2005 and 2009. All of those incidents involved children younger than 5. The majority of them involved children younger than 2 and involved bath or bath-related products.

The report indicates that a lapse in supervision, such as a parent leaving the room briefly, was a factor in many of the incidents. In other incidents, an older child was looking after a younger sibling.

"Young children can drown in just a few inches of water," said Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "I urge parents and caregivers to constantly supervise young children around bathtubs, bath seats and buckets. There are simple steps that every family can take to prevent drownings in the home."

Drowning-prevention safety tips from CPSC

• Never leave young children alone near any water or tub or basin with fluid. Young children can drown in even small amounts of water.

• Always keep a young child within arm's reach in a bathtub. If you must leave, take the child with you.

• Don't leave a baby or young child in a bathtub under the care of another young child.

• Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. Toddlers are top heavy and they can fall headfirst into buckets and drown. After using a bucket, always empty and store it where young children cannot reach it. Don't leave buckets outside where they can collect rainwater.

• Consider placing locks on toilet seat covers in case a young child wanders into the bathroom.

• Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). It can be a lifesaver when seconds count.

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