The death of former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham’s young son in a family hot tub should draw attention to ways to keep children safe in the water, health experts said Wednesday.
Cunningham’s 2-year-old son Christian drowned Tuesday afternoon in a hot tub in the backyard of his father’s Nevada home. Police consider the drowning an accident, according to press report
More than 830 children under 14 die of accidental drowning each year, according to Safe Kids USA. An average of about 17 kids under age 5 drown in hot tubs each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
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Approximately 70% of child drownings occur even though one or both parents is nearby, according to the commission.
Hot tubs pose a number of safety dangers, experts say.
To prevent drowning, people should install a fence, gate or barrier around the hot tub area, says Sue Baker, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy in Baltimore. Fences should be at least 4 feet high and have childproof locks.
Doctors disagree about the effectiveness of hot tub covers.
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More information about hot tub safety is available at poolsafety.gov.
Liz Szabo / USA Today