Young Children Have Greatest Risk of Drowning
As a parent and grandparent, I understand the overwhelming concern you have for your children’s safety. I also know that things can change in the blink of an eye – the heart-stopping moment you lose sight of your child in the grocery store or the panic you feel when it looks like they’ve taken a bad fall.
Summertime brings an especially dangerous threat for children – water. Researchers have noted that almost 50 percent of nonfatal injuries and over one-third of deadly drownings happened on weekends in June, July, and August.
According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drownings are the number one cause of injury death in children ages 1 to 4. It also found that very young children had the highest rates of accidental drownings and about half occurred in swimming pools.
To help keep your summer safe, here are a few drowning prevention tips:
- If a child is missing, check the pool first. Statistics show that over 90% of kids who survive drownings are discovered within the first two minutes following submersion.
- Take swimming lessons. Everyone should know the basics of swimming, such as how to float, tread water, and move through the water.
- Follow your pool’s rules. Most public pools don’t allow children to horseplay or run near the pool area because they could slip, hit their head, and then fall into the pool.
- Fence off your pool. Installing a four-sided fence with self-closing and self-latching gates will help prevent young children or those who can’t swim from entering the pool area without supervision.
- Keep an eye on your children. Some parents don’t realize how quickly and quietly an accidental drowning can occur. Whether they know how to swim or not, never leave your children unsupervised around water.
- Learn CPR. Insist that babysitters, grandparents, and anyone who cares for your child know CPR as well. You should also post CPR instructions and 9-1-1 or your local emergency numbers somewhere near the pool.
I wish everyone a safe and fun summer!