Fewer Child Drownings Reported Nationwide
Drowning is one of the leading causes of child mortality in the United States, and tragic accidents can happen in a matter of seconds. Thankfully, figures published in The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics show progress has been made in reducing hospital admissions for drownings.
According to the report, about half as many children were hospitalized in 2008 compared to 1993. In 1993 nearly 3,700 children under the age of 19 were hospitalized for drowning-related accidents. In 2008, there were fewer than 1,800. Additionally, researchers estimate that the number of children who died after being hospitalized for drownings shrunk almost 50 percent between 1993 and 2008.
Experts have attributed the decline to improvements in education, public awareness, technology, and safety standards.
The following are a few safety tips and facts from Safe Kids USA to keep in mind:
- Always stay within arm's reach or your child when he or she is in or near water, including a bathtub, toilet, or bucket.
- Swimming pools are the most common site of drownings among 1- to 4-year-old children.
- About 84 percent of drowning fatalities among children ages 5 and under occur at a home, while 45 percent of deaths among children ages 5 to 14 occur at a public pool.
- Learn CPR and insist that babysitters, grandparents, and others who care for your child know CPR as well.
- Enclose the pool on all sides with a self-locking, self-closing fence with vertical bars to prevent young children from entering the pool area unsupervised. It's estimated that fences can prevent 50 to 90 percent of childhood drownings and near-drownings.
- Always keep basic lifesaving equipment by the pool and know how to use it.
- Remove pool covers entirely when opening your pool in the summer.
- If a child is missing, check the pool immediately. Seconds count in drowning accidents.