Water Safety for Children
From American Academy of Pediatrics
TIPP, The Injury Prevention Program and 1994 AAP Periodic Survey of Fellows
Swimming pools, lakes and beaches can be very dangerous places for children.
- Never leave children alone around bodies of water, even for a moment
- Do not let children use air-filled “swimming aids,” they are not substitutes for approved life saving vests or equipment.
- An adult watching children swim should know how to swim, get emergency help and perform CPR.
- If at all possible, a phone should be kept nearby when children are swimming.
- Children should be cautioned about the risks of drowning in areas of water.
- Children should be taught water safety rules.
- All toys and attractions should be removed from areas of water after use so children aren’t tempted.
- Children should not be allowed to dive into water except when permitted by an adult who knows the depth of the water and who has checked for underwater obstructions.
- Children of appropriate age should be taught how to swim or enrolled in a swimming lesson program.
- If a child is missing, always look in the water first, seconds count.
Drowning happens quickly and silently, often without any splashing or screaming.
Five Stages of Drowning
near-vertical position, head tilted back, face up
- Breath Holding
Victim drops below water, involuntarily holds breath as defense mechanism
Body shuts down becomes motionless, victim sinks
- Hypoxic Convulsion
Skin turns blue, body may jerk violently and froth at mouth.
- Clinical Death
Cardiac arrest, no circulation.
Two minutes following submersion a child will lose consciousness
From 1994 AAP Periodic Survey 25 of Fellows, conducted in 1994 with a random sample of 1,622 AAP members in the United States with 1,117 questionnaires completed.
- 8 of 10 pediatricians who counsel patients on injury prevention said they routinely discuss drowning prevention
with parents of toddlers 1 to 4 ywhile 7 of 10 pediatricians discuss water safety with parents of children 5 to 12 years.
- Among all pediatricians who provide direct patient care, about one-fourth had patients who sustained a drowning-related injury or drowned during the previous year. (Drowning refers to death within 24 hours of immersion; near-drowning refers to deaths and injuries occurring thereafter as a result of immersion.
- 60 percent of pediatricians reported they had treated injuries which occurred during unsupervised activity around a swimming pool.
- Most pediatricians (84%) attribute the drowning-related injuries they have treated to a lack of supervision.
- 28 percent of pediatricians believe the failure to fully fence pools contributed to the occurrence of
such injuries and 23 percent named an open pool gate as a contributing factor to injuries.
Crawfish Aquatics offers three swimming programs, swimming lessons, Swim School and Swim Team for children in the Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas. Swimming lesson classes are offered numerous times per day in the months June and July for non-swimmers, beginning swimmers, intermediate swimmers and advanced swimmers. The Swim School is offered three semesters per year, twice weekly for children ages 5-13 for beginning and intermediate swimmers while Swim Team is offered year-round for children ages 5-18.