Water Safety

In the pool, at the beach, or even in your bathroom, water can be dangerous to your kids if you don’t take the right precautions. Drowning can happen any time of year, but parents need to be particularly vigilant during warmer months, when the number of drowning skyrockets.

 

Key Facts about Drowning

Nationwide, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children under 5. It is the second leading cause for children fourteen and younger. For every child that dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for non-fatal submersion injuries. In the summer of 2012, North Carolina rated 9th in the number of fatal drowning in pools or spas for children under the age of 15. More than 25% of all fatal drowning in North Carolina were children 14 and our younger.

 

The main contributing factors for this

  • Poor or no swimming ability
  • Lack of proper barriers around pools, spas, or other recreational water sources
  • Lack of close supervision by adult caregivers

 

Water Safety Tips:

  • Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention. Appoint a designated “water watcher,” taking turns with other adults.
  • Enroll your child in swimming lessons – it is an important skill for both children and adults to know.
  • Make sure kids swim only in areas designated for swimming.
  • Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool: they need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.
  • Do not let kids operate personal water crafts such as jet skis. These are intended for adults and require special training.
  • Teach children not to dive into oceans, lakes or rivers because you never know how deep the water is or what might be hidden under the surface of the water.
  • Learn infant and child CPR and keep a phone nearby in case of an emergency.

 

Sources: United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force,  and Safe Kids USA