Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four years of age. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, children younger than age 5 represent more than 75 percent of pool submersion deaths and 78 percent of pool submersion injuries in the U.S. involving children younger than 15 years of age.
On average, there are almost 10 accidental drowning deaths a day in the US during summer months.
For every child 14 years and younger who died from drowning, 5 more received emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
It only takes 30 seconds in the water for a child to drown.
As we enter the summer swimming season, follow these general guidelines to ensure that your children remain safe while swimming:
Never leave your child alone in or near water including a bath tub, bucket of water, pool or lakes. Most children who drown quietly slip into the water unnoticed by adults who are often nearby.
Talk to your child about the importance of only swimming when being supervised by an adult.
If you have a pool, install a fence around it and install doors with locks to keep children away from and out of the pool. Install door latches at least 54 inches high so as to be out of the reach of children.
Place alarms on doors and windows that lead to the pool area.
Teach your children to swim at an early age to ensure they can protect themselves in the event they accidentally fall into water or swim unattended. Make sure to get professional lessons.
For older children, use the buddy system when swimming to keep them safe.
Keep both rescue equipment and a phone by the pool.
Keep toys away from the pool when not in use to prevent children from going in to retrieve them.
Never have a drop off pool party or allow your child to attend a drop off pool party if they are under the age of 8 years.
Never assume someone else is watching. Appoint a designated adult as the observer for pool safety. Many drowning occur while adults are present but not watching.
Empty all wading pools immediately after done using them.
Air filled swimming aids are not a safe substitute for life jackets and never rely solely on life jackets to ensure safety.
Follow these guidelines to have a safe and enjoyable summer of swimming.