Drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional injury and death in children and two-thirds of fatal drownings in children occur between the months of May and August.
You may wonder who is most at risk for drowning?
· Children ages 1 – 4 years
Here are some ways to prevent drowning:
· Close toilet lids and use seat locks.
· Have children wear a life jacket when near any body of water or while, on a boat or watercraft.
· Never leave a baby or young child unattended in bathtubs, pools, ponds, spas or irrigation ditches.
· Do not any leave any standing water in basins, buckets/pails, ice chests, kiddie pools, or bathtubs.
· Designate an adult “water watcher” with swimming skills to provide constant supervision to children in and around water. The adult water watcher should not be distracted by activities such as texting, tending chores or drinking alcohol.
· Use multiple layers of protection around bodies of water. These can include locks and alarms on doors and a 4-sided isolation fencing. Fences should be at least 4 ft. high with self-closing, self-latching gates.
· Fence all yards that have a pool or spa. Use pool alarms or weight-bearing pool covers.
· Ensure that the pool has compliant drain covers and teach children to stay away from the drains while swimming.
· Remove portable pool ladders when not in use.
· Keep phone and rescue equipment at poolside.
· If your child is missing, check the pool immediately.
· Learn CPR.
· Learn how to swim and teach children to be proficient swimmers.
· Never swim alone. Make sure teens swim with a buddy every time.
Reference – American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association (APSNA)
American Heart Association. (2012). Family & Friends® CPR Student Manual. Author: Dallas, TX.
American Red Cross. (2014). Reach or throw, don’t go [Lesson Plan]. Retrieved from https://www.redcross.org/content/dam/redcross/atg/PDFs/Take_a_Class/Reach_or_throw_dont_go.pdf
Pool Safely. (n.d). Steps for safety around the pool [Brochure]. Retrieved from https://www.poolsafely.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/PoolSafely_ConsumerEducationalBrochure_ENG.pdf
Safe Kids Worldwide. (2016). Keeping kids safe in and around water: Exploring misconceptions that lead to drowning [Research Report]. Retrieved from https://www.safekids.org/research-report/keeping-kids-safe-and-around-water-exploring-misconceptions-lead-drowning
Safe Kids Worldwide. (2016). Dangerous waters: Profiles in fatal childhood drownings in the U.S. 2005-2014 [Data Profile]. Retrieved from https://www.safekids.org/sites/default/files/dangerous_waters_research_report.pdf
van Beeck, E. F., Branche, C. M., Szpilman, D., Modell, J. H., & Bierens, J. J. (2005). A new definition of drowning: Towards documentation and prevention of a global public health problem. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 83I, 853-856. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2626470/pdf/16302042.pdf