Water Safety: Drowning Prevention

As summertime comes around and the weather starts to warm up, we find ourselves enjoying more water activities. Enjoying the water is a great way to stay cool during these hot summer months. While having fun, it is important to take precautions to prevent our children from drowning.

Because of the natural curiosity of toddlers, they are at the highest risk for drowning than at any other age. In fact, according to The American Academy of Pediatrics, after birth defects drowning is the number one cause of death for children ages 1-4. It is especially important to take precautions during the months of May-August because two thirds of fatal drownings occur during this time.

Something we often fail to consider is where drownings occur and the amount of water it takes for a child to drown. Drowning can happen in less than one inch of water. This means that in addition to keeping a watchful eye on children in a pool, it is important to secure other water sources such as sinks, bathtubs, buckets, toilets, spas, ponds, etc.

To ensure our children can have fun and stay safe around water it is recommended to:

  • Always have an adult keep a constant eye on children near any water
  • Never leave children unattended in or near water
  • Never leave any container with water or other liquid unattended
  • When giving your baby a bath, do not leave them in the tub or rely on an older sibling to watch them. Bring them with you wrapped in a towel if you need to walk away

When around a pool:

  • Have floating rescue aids readily available
  • If a child is missing, check the pool first
  • Take toys out of the pool when done with using them to prevent children from trying to retrieve them
  • Dump out all water from a wading pool when you’re finished using it.
  • Remove any ladders from an above-ground pool when not in use.
  • Do not use a flotation device as an alternative for a supervising adult
  • If there is a pool in your home, consider using fences, gates, or a safety pool cover

In case of an emergency, remember to dial 911.

If a drowning incident were to occur, knowing how to perform CPR and the Heimlich maneuver can be lifesaving. Check out this Red Cross website for a step-by-step guide on how to perform CPR.

This summer season, remember to follow these tips to make sure your child is having safe fun in the water. Have a fun and safe summer!