Ok, let’s talk about drowning. Scary right? Really scary. It doesn’t only happen when children are swimming. When I think of tragic stories like Bode Miller’s daughter last year, my heart is heavy.
According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1-4.
Drowning doesn’t always happen in a loud, screaming and splashing way like you see on television. Drowning can happen when you least expect it and children are literally helpless. Even those great swimmers, may experience an initial panic, swallow water and not be able to save themselves.
Keeping your eyes on your children in and near water is essential. Shopping on your phone or scrolling through Instagram means your eyes are not on your child, even if it’s for a split second. Be present and alert. It may save your child or another child one day!
According to the CDC, “every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.”
Supervision, prevention and preparation is the key to water safety. You may chuckle and think some of these tips and tricks are super obvious, but the list serves as a good reminder.
1) If you have a swimming pool at home:
- Install a four-sided pool fence that surrounds the pool area from the rest of the yard.
- The fence should be at least 4 feet high.
- Use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward with latches that are out of reach of children.
- Remember, even if you do not have your own children; your guests, neighbors, and friends will feel more comfortable when they bring their children over if your pool is safely secured.
2) Never leave your child unattended in the water. Even if you think your child is a great swimmer, never leave them. More importantly, never leave your child in the water under the supervision of another child.
3) Inexperienced swimmers should always be wearing S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but you should never rely on life jackets alone.
4) Maintain constant supervision of children in or near water. A plastic kiddie pool, slip and slide and splash pad still pose drowning concerns. It only takes a few inches for a small child to drown.
5) Educate yourself and your children:
- Starting children in swim lessons at a young age is the greatest tool you can give your kids for safety. Here are a few excellent Austin based swim centers that offer lessons for infants and beyond.
- Learn CPR! After a child drowns, those moments following can make a huge difference. It takes time for the paramedics to arrive on the scene, administering CPR in the meantime can ultimately save a child. The investment is worth it. Red Cross CPR classes in Austin
Enjoy your favorite water activities in these warm summer months with the family, but make sure you continue to keep your children safe!
Happy summer y’all!