The Washington State Drowning Prevention Network has been incredibly supportive (a special thanks to this great organization) and has supplied many resources on drowning prevention, particularly for babies and toddlers.
Just one example is the Children’s Hospital Boston’s Pediatric Health Blog. A sample post:
“Earlier this week a 2 year old boy walked out of the back door of his parent’s house, onto a second story deck and made his way down a set of wooden stairs. The toddler walked right past the family’s swimming pool, which had been covered with a cover but still had a small puddle of collected rain water, and fell into a small outdoor fishpond. Unable to pull himself out, the young boy died. His mother was in the house at the time, but by the time she realized he was out of the house it was too late.
“Though tragic, this story is unfortunately all too common. Drowning is the second leading cause of injury related death for kids in the U.S. One of the most common scenarios for these accidents involves toddlers drowning in swimming pools—usually when the parent thinks the child is safely inside the house. Unfortunately, at this age, if a child ends up face down in the water, he or she usually does not have the cognitive ability or the coordination to pull themselves out. Infants can drown in a just a few inches of water in the bathtub, which is why they should NEVER be left unsupervised in the tub. Toddlers can drown in water that is at a level less than their own standing height; so again, they should never be left unsupervised where there is standing water. This includes swimming pools, garden ponds, five gallon tubs and even toilets.”
The Washington State Drowning Prevention Network’s number one action to eliminate potential drowning hazards is to empty all buckets, containers and wading pools.
SPU’s stance is they cannot find evidence that a child has drowned in a Raingarden; therefore children’s safety are not at risk around these full ponds. However, a typical Raingarden is dry most of the time, and ours have standing water most of the time (more than two inches).
Is there a difference between a full pond (“Raingarden”) and a birdbath where the risk to a two year old is concerned?