It is heating up outdoors and we cannot wait to start summer water-related activities. Unfortunately, drowning is the leading cause of death for children. In fact, “more children ages 1–4 die from drowning than any other cause of death except birth defects and for children ages 1–14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes,” CDC. We want you and your children to have a fun, safe summer ahead.
These small steps can save lives while swimming or being near water this summer:
- Water Watcher: Designate a Water Watcher – an adult, whose only job is to watch children when they are in the pool or swimming. This is one of the most important steps you can do to keep your children safe in and around water.
- Swim Lessons: Has your child learned to swim? Children that have not learned to swim face much higher risks of drowning. Local businesses or parks and rec departments are great places to go for information on swim lessons.
- Life Jackets: Life jackets are important for all ages and regardless of swimming ability in natural bodies of water or while taking part in activities such as boating. They also should be used by weaker swimmers around natural water bodies and in swimming pools. Not all life jackets are created equal! Put your child in a properly fitted US Coast Guard approved life jacket.
- Barriers: “Fences are the most effective, proven way to prevent drowning of young children,” HealthyChildren.org. Pool fencing should be at least 4 feet high and completely surround swimming pools. Your child should not be able to squeeze through the slats. The gate should be a self-latching gat that opens outward from the pool area. It is also recommended to install a door alarm on a pool gate and to have pool or spa covers that properly and fully cover the area.
- Drain Covers: Ensure all pools and spas have compliant drain covers. Without the proper covers, the powerful suction from a pool or spa drain can be enough to even trap and adult.
- CPR: Performing CPR can help save the life of a drowning victim. There are several community centers and business that offer CPR in our area.
Additional Prevention Resources: