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Mom's viral post highlights hidden ways kids can drown inside your house

“It happens with only a small amount of water, in just 20 seconds and is silent."
/ Source: TODAY

Drowning — the leading cause of accidental death among children ages 1 to 4 — doesn’t only occur in large bodies of water. Just ask Nikki Jurcutz, who worked an advanced life support paramedic for seven years in Australia.

"The drowning jobs I attended as a paramedic still haunt me to this day," Jurcutz captioned an Instagram video. “It happens with only a small amount of water, in just 20 seconds and is silent."

In the clip, Jurcutz is seen lowering the lid on a toilet seat, emptying a bowl of water and draining a bathtub.

Amy Artuso, child safety expert at the National Safety Council (NSC) is glad that Jurcutz is shining a light on hidden drowning risks, including toilet bowls.

“With 1 to 4-year-olds, their heads are larger and heavier in relation to the rest of their body,” Artuso told TODAY Parents. "If they go first and get stuck and it cuts off their ability to breathe — that’s a real danger.”

Plastic pools and mop buckets should be emptied after each use, Artuso noted. It’s also crucial that hot tubs be covered with a locked safety lid when not in use.

“You need to have a discussion with your children about safety rules around the home, like, ‘Don’t lift the lid because it’s very heavy and you can get stuck under it,’” Artuso said.

Since sharing her video earlier this month, Jurcutz has been inundated with comments, with many sharing their own close encounters.

“I will never forget walking into the toilet by chance to find my only just walking baby dangling down into the toilet bowl and only just caught him from going head first into the water. Had I have been 15 seconds later…,” wrote one person.

Added another, “A 1 year old baby from my home town drowned in a dog's bowl a few months ago. Horrifying. Something most parents wouldn't think was possible. I always feel like telling parents if I see a water bowl on the floor in their house but don't know how to without coming across like a Karen.”

In her post, Jurcutz shared several ways to help prevent drowning.

"Supervise your little ones while they are in and around water ALWAYS," she wrote. "Eliminate hazards (including tipping out water) Restrict access (ensuring that there is a barrier between your child and any body of water) Teach your children how to swim and to be wary of drains. Learn CPR."

This story was originally published in January 2021.