Now that summer is here and people are heading to the pool, the beach, pond, river or lake, it’s time for some water safety reminders.
Childsafetyblog.org wants parents and caregivers to put on their thinking-bathing caps when they do take in aquatic activities! Being safe in and around water–even a child’s wading pool–is crucial to your child’s life and your happiness. Unfortunately, we must remind everyone that drowning can occur quickly.
SafeKids’ “drowning prevention” fact sheet ( http://www.safekids.org/our-work/research/fact-sheets/drowning-prevention-fact-sheet.html ) tells us that each year more than 830 children under the age of 14 drown and that nearly 3,600 injuries to children occur from near-drowning accidents. No matter what we think about the recently televised Casey Anthony trial, the trial drew attention to very necessary pool safety and how easy it can be for very young children to access a family pool. Here’s a sad factoid:
- Home swimming pools are the most common site for a drowning to occur for a child between the ages 1 to 4 years.
One might think it would be just the opposite, that at home, parents, family members, caregivers or babysitters might be more available to watch a young child in and around the pool. However, these kinds of accidents usually occur when someone is not watching or paying attention, even though caregivers have claimed that children involved in drowning accidents were being supervised while in the water.
It bears repeating that accidents in and around the water happen fast.
These accidents happened, and the families of these children are bereft. It is painful to ask questions afterward–who was supervising, who was watching? More facts:
- 16 percent of drowning deaths in children under 5 years of age are at a family or friend’s pool, while 17 percent of deaths occur at a public, community, or neighbor pool.
- The majority of infant (less than 1 year old) drowning deaths happen in bathtubs, buckets, or toilets.
This last fact, to us, is stunning. But it also dictates that we, as parents and caregivers, can be the safety supervisor in our child’s lives when they are doing something as dangerous… as taking a bath. Yes, dangerous. Drowning can occur in as little as three inches of water. SafeKids says that the most dangerous pools are children’s public wading pools, in-ground hot tubs or any others pools that have flat drain grates and/or a single main drain system. For these the danger is entrapment.
Childsafetyblog.org reminds parents to “actively supervise your children when they are in and around water at all times, and have a phone nearby to call for help in any emergency.