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Bathtime safety warning is issued
Bradford parents are being warned by the district’s public health boss not to leave their babies and toddlers alone in the bath.
The warning comes after a number of accidental drowning tragedies in the city in the past few years, where bathtime has not been supervised.
According to Bradford’s Public Health department who issued the alert, there are potentially more near misses that are not officially reported.
In a bid to avoid needless deaths, health workers and children’s services, staff are now being urged to help get the stark message out to all families who they visit that an adult has to be present at bathtimes without any interruption.
They are also being asked to tell parents and carers that even bath seats and rings should not be considered as a safety device because they could still be a danger.
Studies of bath drownings suggest there is often a history of leaving the baby or toddler in the bath unsupervised or in the care of another child.
Director of Public Health for Bradford Council, Anita Parkin, said: “Drowning incidents often occur silently and within a short time, in as little as 2cm of water. They can happen in less time than it takes to answer the telephone or fetch a towel.
“We’re working with health workers and children’s services staff to make sure parents and carers are clear of the risks in order to prevent future accidents.”
Last October, a Bradford inquest heard how 13-month-old Ubaid Khan drowned in his bedtime bath after being left alone for about five minutes.
Ubaid, who lived with his family in Annison Street, Barkerend, had been put in the eight inches of water by his mother, then left for his 15-year-old aunt to keep an eye on him while she went to iron his clothes ready for bed.
When a male relative needed to use the toilet, the young aunt left the bathroom and went downstairs to warm up Ubaid’s milk, but when she went back up, Ubaid was face down in the water.
Despite family’s efforts to revive him, he could not be saved and his death was recorded as an accident.