Water Safety for Children
Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children under 15 years old and an average of 250 children under 5-years-old drown in pools nationwide each year. Drowning often happens quickly and silently, often without any splashing or screaming and typically occurs when a child is left unattended or during a lapse of supervision.
1) The primary element in preventing pool, lake and beach incidents of any kind is constant supervision of infants and young children when they are in or around the water.
2) Teach children safety in and around pools, lakes and the open water and establish rules of use both in and around any area of water.
3) One of most obvious methods of safety for children is learning to swim, however never assume a child is “drown-proof.”
4) Remember that air-filled rafts, floaties, rings and toys as well as styrofoam noodles are not safety devices.
5) If a child is missing, always look in the water first, seconds count.
Childhood drowning rates are far higher in Southern and Western States due to the warmer weather with 2/3 of the childhood drownings occurring in the months of May through August.
Of all preschoolers who drown, 70 percent are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning and 75 percent are missing for five minutes or less. Constant supervision with water safety rules is vital for children. For every child that drowns, four more are hospitalized for near drowning making pools, lakes and oceans the biggest risks for children in the spring and summer. Learning to swim and improving a child’s swimming ability can increase personal safety and lessen the risk of drowning.
Statistics compiled from:
US Consumer Product Safety Commission
National Safekids Campaign
American Academy of Pediatrics
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Safety Council