Medical experts warn parents of leaving child alone in bathtub - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Medical experts warn parents of leaving child alone in bathtub

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Being away from a child taking a bath for just a moment could be the difference between life and death.

Sunday a Belle Plaine 1-year-old girl was found unresponsive in the bathtub, after police say the baby's father stepped out briefly while the girl was taking a bath with her 2-year-old brother.

The dad returned to find her unconscious.

She was later pronounced dead at a Cedar Rapids hospital.

While officials have not confirmed the girl drowned, this may serve as a reminder for all parents and caregivers to never leave a child unattended in the bathtub.

Jodee Reed a registered nurse for St. Lukes' Neonatal Intensive Care Center, says monitoring your child while bathing is essential because a child can drown in the smallest amount of water.

"Less than a minute they can drown, go under the water and drown," said Reed. "Even a three or four-year-old, if they can swim they still need to be attended in the bath tub."

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries.

The CDC says these injuries are predictable and preventable only when proper safety precautions are taken, but they are not accidents.

"The child is your main focus during the bath," said Reed. "Even if you just have soap outside the room, make sure you have all that with you. If your kid doesn't get clean, it's better than having a baby who didn't make it through the bath."

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