A nice dip in the pool, tubing in the river, or maybe even going on a boat on the lake. As the warmer months begin approaching, it is inevitable that most people will be spending more time in the water. When most think of water we think of summertime, playing, and overall exciting times. Although these fun times make up most water-related summer memories, there is a high risk of water injuries occurring.
- Did you know that for children younger than 15 years old, nearly 68% of reported fatal drowning victims were boys?
- Between years 2014 and 2016, 74% of children being treated in the emergency department for non-fatal, pool- or spa-related drowning incidents were younger than 5 years old.
How can we prevent drowning?
As a parent you want to ensure that your child is safe around bodies of water, such as pools, lakes, and rivers. There are different ways to protect your child from unsafe situations. These include preventative measures, educating your children on water safety, and learning how to respond in a drowning situation. Drownings are typically silent and occur quickly. Meaning the prevention of drownings are extremely important, and this starts with education and action.
This starts with making sure that young children do not have easy access to open bodies of water, especially unsupervised. Protection against unsafe access to water includes 4-sided fencing with a self-closing or self-latching gate around any areas of water that could present as dangerous.
It is crucial to teach children how to swim. Children who cannot swim on their own face a much higher risk of drowning, leading to potentially life-threatening injuries. There are many resources to help teach your children how to swim, such as signing them up for classes at a local parks and recreation department.
Although it is important that children can swim on their own, accidents do happen. At any time that children are swimming or playing in the water, there should be a designated water watcher. This could be any adult who is able to swim and give their direct attention to children in the water and can keep an eye out for any situations that appear to be unsafe or alarming.
In situations where an accident does occur and drowning happens, it is essential that those around know how to properly respond. Knowing how to give CPR can save someone’s life and allow for a quicker response in such situations.
Lastly, checking pool drain covers can prevent drowning. If there is pool drain cover that is not correctly installed, broken or even recalled, this can lead to drowning. The drains can create a strong suction, resulting in the pulling of items or even children to the bottom of the pool.
Before summer arrives and outdoor activities are at their peaks, take the time to confirm that you have covered all safety precautions concerning swimming. Engage in a swimming lesson, limit easy access to bodies of water and brush up on your CPR! Follow these simple steps to foster safe swimming.