Drowning can happen in an instant and it’s important to take safety precautions with your children. Even if they can swim, the powerful force of water can cause them to drown.
Especially around ocean currents, lakes, streams and water parks, your child should never be left unattended.
In 2017 alone, 353 people between the ages of 5 and 24 drowned according to the National Safety Council. 74% of all drowning incidents involved children younger than 15 years old and happened at residential locations. Pools and spas are a major contributor to residential drownings and killed 351 children in 2015.
The emergency departments treat approximate 6,400 pool and spa-related injuries each and every year. This number only includes treatment for children under the age of 15. Another alarming statistic shows that boys younger than 15 die from drowning at twice the rate of girls.
The NSC reports that drownings are a leading cause of death among young children. Almost always attributed to them falling into a pool or being left unattended in a bathtub. Bathtubs, toilets, and even buckets are a danger for very young children.
The most common statement following any drowning of a small child is, “I only looked away for a second.” Caregivers often think that water safety is at the top of their minds and believe they are practicing safety every time their child is near water. The fact is, it only takes one second, one distraction for a child to become endangered.
First and foremost, you should not go into the water unless you know how to swim. As a parent, you should also learn CPR and rescue techniques. Ensure that the body of water matches your child’s swimming ability.
Swimming in a pool is much different than allowing your child to swim in a lake, river or ocean. The amount of strength required is much greater and your child should be properly equipped with lifejackets before entering those. They should never be allowed to enter when strong currents are present or possible.
Also, teach them to never dive into an area without first knowing the depth. If your child is missing – ALWAYS check water around you first. It only takes a moment for a child to drown, so ensure you look for them in pools, spas, bathtubs or any other surrounding water sources first as it could save their life.
Keep in mind that swimming lessons do not make your child drown-proof. You should always swim in areas where lifeguards are present, although it is your job to know where your child is at ALL times – not the lifeguards. When swimming, never let your child play around drains and suction fittings.
Teach them to steer clear of them as faulty or older fittings can suck them on – making it impossible to escape.