POLICE are warning parents to be on their guard after a nine-month-old baby almost drowned in the bath.

The girl was sitting in a safety bath ring, consisting of a plastic seat with suction pads to secure it to the bath.

The safety ring is sold in catalogue shops for £6.99 and has a warning stating that children should not be left alone in the bath under any circumstances. On this occasion, the mother, who does not want to be identified, left the bathroom for a very short time.

When she returned the baby was submersed, unconscious and not breathing. The child was taken to hospital by ambulance and has made a full recovery.

A spokesman for Cleveland Police said: "It would appear that whilst unattended the suction pads released their grips and the baby fell backwards into the water.

"Police are warning parents of young children that they need to be supervised at all times. This accident almost resulted in the death of a baby.