Drowning is Quick and Quiet, So Keep Your Eyes on Your Kids around Water

It’s a warm summer day and you’re at the beach with your kids.  Your cell phone rings and you answer it, shifting your focus from your kids to the conversation.  Good idea?  Not at all, and it could even be deadly.  Children can get into trouble in a matter of seconds when around water, so Safe Kids Grand Forks recommends that parents actively supervise – with their eyes on their kids at all times – when they are in or near the water.

Drowning is the second highest cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 to 4 and 10 to 14. Approximately 3 out of 4 pool submersion deaths and 3 out of 5 pool submersion injuries occur at a home pool. Overall, approximately 830 children ages 14 and under die each year due to unintentional drownings, and on average, there are an estimated 3,600 injuries to children after near-drowning incidents each year.

Kids drown quickly and quietly and a drowning child cannot cry or shout for help. The most important precaution for parents is active supervision. Simply being near your child is not necessarily supervising.

To help keep kids safe this pool season, Safe Kids Grand Forks recommends these precautions:

  • Always actively supervise children in and around water. Don’t leave, even for a moment. Stay where you can see, hear and reach kids in water. Avoid talking on the phone, preparing a meal, reading and other distractions.
  • If you have a pool or spa, or if your child visits a home that has a pool or spa, it should be surrounded on all four sides by a fence at least five feet high with gates that close and latch automatically. Studies estimate that this type of isolation fencing could prevent 50 to 90 percent of child drownings in residential pools.
  • A pool or spa should be equipped with an anti-entrapment drain cover and a safety vacuum release system to prevent children from being caught in the suction of the drain. The powerful suction forces can trap a child underwater or cause internal injuries.
  • Don’t leave toys in or near the pool, where they could attract unsupervised kids. For extra protection, consider a pool alarm and alarms on the doors, windows and gates leading to the pool.
  • Enroll your kids in swimming lessons around age 4, but don’t assume swimming lessons make your child immune to drowning. There is no substitute for active supervision.
  • Don’t rely on inflatable swimming toys such as “water wings” and noodles. If your child can’t swim, stay within an arm’s reach.
  • Learn infant and child CPR. In less than two hours, you can learn effective interventions that can give a fighting chance to a child whose breathing and heartbeat have stopped.
  • Keep rescue equipment, a phone and emergency numbers by the pool.

These guidelines apply to inflatable and portable pools, not just in-ground pools. A child can drown in just an inch of water. Kiddie pools should be emptied and stored out of reach when not in use.

Even a near-drowning incident can have lifelong consequences. Kids who survive a near-drowning may have brain damage, and after four to six minutes under water – the damage is usually irreversible. Although 90 percent of parents say they supervise their children while swimming, many acknowledge that they engage in other distracting activities at the same time – talking, eating, reading or taking care of another child.

A supervised child is in sight at all times with your undivided attention focused on the child. When there are children in or near the water, adults should take turns serving as the designated “Water Watcher,” paying undivided attention. Visit www.safekids.org to download a free Water Watcher badge.

For more info on infant safety or other childhood injury prevention topics, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at safekids@altru.org. Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks.

This entry was posted in Family, Life jacket, Near Shore Life Vest, Parents, Safety, Supervision, Uncategorized, Unintentional Injury, Water by safekids. Bookmark the permalink.
Avatar of safekids

About safekids

Safe Kids Grand Forks is an injury prevention coalition who has as their mission to prevent unintentional injuries to children under the age of 10. Safe Kids Grand Forks is one of over 600 state and local coalitions affilicated with Safe Kids Worldwide in Washington, D.C. Altru Health System is the lead agency for SKGF and our goal is to collaborate and coordinate activivies of all entities in the community who have childhood injury prevention on their agenda. Together, we are keeping the children of our community and region safe!!

2 thoughts on “Drowning is Quick and Quiet, So Keep Your Eyes on Your Kids around Water

  1. Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favourite
    justification seemed to be on the web the easiest thing to
    have in mind of. I say to you, I certainly get irked at the
    same time as people think about concerns that they plainly don’t understand about.
    You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and also outlined out the entire thing with no need side-effects ,
    other folks can take a signal. Will probably be back
    to get more. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>