Tag Archives: water safety

Summer Water Safety

Happy toddler girl having fun in a swimming pool

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.

We Need To Talk About “Water Safety” – Part 1 of 2

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) held a press conference releasing the latest statistics on water-related accidents and children.  Up to Memorial Day weekend, 55 drowning and 63 near-drowning incidents had been reported by the media occurring in 29 states and territories in the first five months of 2011.  Additional stunning statistics published by the CPSC are:

  • An annual average of 383 pool and spa-related drownings had occurred to children younger than 15 from 2006 to 2008; almost 76 percent of the reported fatalities involved children younger than five.
  • An estimated average of 5,100 pool or spa emergency department-treated submersions for children younger than 15 occurred each year from 2008 to 2010; children younger than five represented 79 percent of these-injuries.
  • Children between the ages of one and three (12 to 47 months) represented 66 percent of these fatalities and 64 percent of the injuries.

ChildSafetyBlog.org thinks these statistics are very significant and that safety cautions and water safety recommendations should be reviewed by parents, family members, baby sitters, and caregivers at the beginning of every summer swimming season.  Every year there are new water toys on the market; there are new types of pools and spas; not to mention new kinds of boats and watercraft to which you and your family may be exposed.  So before parents allow children to ride in or on, or use certain water toys, they need to know what they are and which are safest. They also need to know what is available for use in personal flotation devices–how safe they are and where and when to use them.

We recommend to all parents, family members and babysitters–that you not take a child into the water to swim or to ride in or on a watercraft if YOU cannot swim.  Many YMCA/YWCAs, universities, community colleges, community pools and wellness centers offer courses in swimming and life-saving. If you don’t know how to swim, it’s vital to learn if you have children who are going swimming! If you don’t know CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Recussitation), it’s also good to have this in your personal skill set.  There is no more frustrating experience, than to watch a person who cannot swim get in trouble and not be able to help them–whether it is your child or someone else’s.

Childsafetyblog.org also recommends staying close to kids–simply watching your kids when they are in the water, at the beach, in the pool or in the spa is fundamental to their safety and your peace of mind. So take a break, get out on the dock or the deck and make sure you know where your children are and who they are with–if not you–when water is involved. Playing in the water is fun and kids can get tired.  Accidents can happen quickly and paying attention to your children and their swimming capabilities can prevent heartache.

Childsafetyblog.org wishes you a happy, healthy, and safe summer!

Today is the First Day of Summer: How Safe is Your Child Near the Water?

A shocking number of children drown each year–approximately 11,000 children in the U.S. die due to drowning. At least 1,000 of those deaths occur to little ones between infancy and 5.

Water safety practitioners encourage parents to:

  • Supervise children at all times when they are in, around, or even near water.

This doesn’t just mean when they are in a boat, by the lake, at the fish pond, by a brook or creek, at the beach or at poolside, it means any time. Any time there is standing water in a bathtub, in a wading pool, in a bucket or a 1″ deep puddle, there is the danger of drowning. Little ones especially are attracted to water and are not able to judge its depth, nor do they always have the physical ability to extricate themselves, once in it.

  • Swimming lessons are a great start to a safe summer, but simply knowing how to swim doesn’t mean your child can’t get into difficulty. Provide and make sure your children wear flotation devices if they need them and you go in deep water (whether at the pool, river, lake or beach) with your kids.

In my youth, we spent time at a lake in the summer. I got in trouble more than once–thankfully, I survived. Once, however, I dove into the water from an unsteady canoe, came up and hit my head on the bottom of the canoe. Yes, I could swim, but because I was almost knocked out, I drank a lot of the lake! If my older sibling hadn’t been along for the trip, I could have been a drowning statistic, which brings up another tip:

  • Never allow your child to go to or in the water alone. Go with them or make sure a caregiver, an able swimmer, or an older buddy goes with them.
  • If you take your child to the pool or the lake to swim, it’s time for you to learn Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

Administering CPR to an infant or a child is different than administering CPR to an adult, so it’s important to know the difference. You can check with your local rescue squad, fire department or your local chapter of the American Red Cross to learn if they are offering a CPR course near you this summer. The courses are not expensive; some are free providing they have attendees.

  • If you are hiring caregivers and babysitters, ask those you interview if they know CPR (and are certified to perform it) before you hire them.

If supervision of children were more thorough and parents, family members, caregivers and babysitters knew how to administer CPR, there would be more hopeful statistics to post here. There is nothing worse than watching a capable EMT administer CPR to a child who has fallen in the water and cannot respond.

All of us at ChildSafetyBlog.org are wishing you a safe and enjoyable summer!