Keeping Kids Water-Safe
With summer comes fun in the sun, waves, and water. Summer also comes with a few necessary extra precautions to help keep kids safe around pools. Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths among children between the ages of one and four. It’s the third leading injury-related cause among children 19 and under.
While swimming skills and knowledge of water safety are seemingly the most effective means of prevention, it’s actually supervision that matters most. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number one tool in preventing drowning is supervision. Even children who are adept swimmers and/or took part in swim lessons are not precluded from the risks of drowning.
Drowning is also not the spectacle most people believe it to be, and in fact happens quickly and quietly, often among large groups of people and busy settings. Homeowners can help prevent drownings by installing barriers around pools, particularly four-sided barriers, which reduce the risk of drowning by 83 percent compared to three-sided fencing. It’s also been shown that CPR performed by bystanders improves outcomes in drowning victims.
Water toys also increase the risk, enticing younger kids to the water’s edge. Many toys, like water wings and foam noodles, are also not designed to keep swimmers safe, and can provide a false sense of security for swimmers.