We all want to keep our children safe and secure and help them live to their full potential. Knowing how to prevent leading causes of child injury, like drowning, is a step toward this goal.
When most of us are enjoying time at the pool or beach, injuries aren’t the first thing on our minds. Yet, drowning is a leading cause of injury-related death for young children ages 1 to 14, and three children die every day as a result of drowning. In fact, drowning kills more children ages 1-4 than anything else except developmental and genetic conditions that were present at birth.
Thankfully, parents can play a key role in protecting the children they love from drowning.
Key Prevention Tips
- Learn life-saving skills. Everyone should know the basics of swimming (floating, moving through the water) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
- Fence it off. Install a four–sided isolation fence, with self–closing and self–latching gates, around backyard swimming pools. This can help keep children away from the area when they aren’t supposed to be swimming. Pool fences should completely separate the house and play area from the pool.
- Make life jackets a must. Make sure kids wear life jackets in and around natural bodies of water, such as lakes or the ocean, even if they know how to swim. Life jackets can be used in and around pools for weaker swimmers too.
- Be on the look-out. When kids are in or near water (including bathtubs), closely supervise them at all times. Because drowning happens quickly and quietly, adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like playing cards, reading books, texting or talking on the phone and using alcohol or drugs.