Jackson area parents cautioned against leaving open containers of water accessible to small children

> JACKSON — In a rush to stockpile water in advance of Jackson’s pending water crisis this weekend, parents should remain vigilant to protect their young children from accidental injuries or drowning.
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> Although it may seem incredulous that a 5-gallon bucket filled with water could pose a threat to a child’s safety, it is tragically true that young children can drown in as little as a few inches of water.
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> Child protection specialists with the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services urge Jackson parents to make sure large buckets or other open bulk containers of water are kept safely out of children’s reach. Also, if bathtubs are filled with water to use as backup water sources, the bathrooms should be either locked or blocked to prevent children from entering the rooms alone.
> “Children love water. When a child sees a bucket of water, it is an instant attraction,” said Tracy Malone, deputy commissioner for child welfare for the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services.
> “Unfortunately, toddlers are top heavy. If a toddler reaches into a bucket to touch the water, it is very easy for the child to tip right in headfirst. The child will never get back out.”
> According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 20 children die in the U.S. every year because they drown in buckets. The commission has issued a warning to consumers that 5-gallon buckets, often used for household chores, pose a serious threat to toddlers. Their tall, straight sides combined with their stability make it nearly impossible for top-heavy infants to free themselves when they topple in headfirst.
> Safety steps you can take
> NEVER leave a bucket of water in your house where small children can reach it. Even something as simple as answering the door or using the restroom can leave a window of time long enough to drown a child.
> ALWAYS Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed and either locked or blocked to prevent small children from entering – especially if the tub is filled with water.