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Are there any documented events of people drowning in slippery baths after falling asleep? I've tried to Google it but wasn't able to find anything. Probably just used wrong terms, or maybe there were no such accidents.

I'm asking it because I used to hear "how dangerous it is to fall asleep in a bath" very often when I was a child. Is it just another fairy tale to scare children?

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up vote 21 down vote accepted

Drowning in bathtubs happens. In 2000 in the US there were 341 deaths by drowning and submersion while in or falling into bathtubs. (Data) Though this data doesn't show the age factor.

Most sources, like this one, examine child drowning reasons. And it says that 75% of children who drowned were younger than 24 months.

As for adults, I didn't find any listed causes. But I would say they all happen when a person is unconscious, and there could be many reasons for that: fainting, heart attack, stroke, alcohol/drug poisoning, head injury, etc. Falling asleep is much less likely, as reflexes will kick in, but combined with the factors mentioned above - it's possible.

As personal example: once I fainted because the water in the tub was too hot. It took probably 10-20 seconds until I realized that I was under water and another 20-30 seconds to stand up, because it was slippery and I was drowsy. Of course it wasn't enough to drown, but I can see how it could happen.

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You fainted because it was too hot? Do you have any particular condition or was it REALLY hot? Can't imagine myself fainting over that. – Trufa Mar 18 '11 at 13:50
@Trufa No I don't have any condition. I think what happend is this: Collapsing when getting out of the bath because of the sudden change in blood pressure can occur, particularly when the bath is hot. Fainting can lead to accidents (including drowning if one falls back into the bath).. I felt dizzy and tried to get out of tube then colapsed. – Egle Mar 18 '11 at 13:55
Did not know that could happen with the difference of temperature created by a shower! Glad you are ok :) – Trufa Mar 18 '11 at 15:16
Almost happened to me in a hot pool (40°C) – nico Feb 16 '12 at 16:43
@Egle, that Wikipedia link to Bathing, you put in the second comment, doesn't appear to mention any temperature-related fainting (or changes in blood pressure) - are you sure that's the right link? – John C Feb 17 '12 at 13:41

protected by Community May 5 '12 at 1:21

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