The Injury Prevention team urges you to talk about water safety with your children, and to follow these guidelines:
- Actively supervise your children around water at all times. Kids should never swim or play around water by themselves.
- Teach children to never go near or in water without an adult present.
- Enroll you child in swimming lessons. Children as young as 6 months can be enrolled in Float 4 Life lessons which teach young children to roll to their back so they can breathe, float, and get to the side until help arrives. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends swimming lessons for children as young as 4 years of age.
- If you have an above ground pool, be sure to remove the ladder after each use so as to prevent a child climbing into a pool when unsupervised.
- Make sure your pool has four-sided fencing and a self-closing, self-latching gate to prevent a child from wandering into the pool when unsupervised.
- Install a door alarm, a window alarm or both to alert you if a child wanders into the pool area unsupervised.
- Empty buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside-down and out of a child's reach.
- Learn CPR and know how to respond in water emergencies.
While most parents are aware of these guidelines, incidents still can – and do – happen. Among those 1-14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind vehicle crashes.
Drowning happens silently. Contrary to popular belief, most drowning do not involve loud thrashing or verbalization of distress. Education about water safety is key to decreasing the numbers of children who drown.
Helpful Resources on Water Safety
Josh the Otter
Water Safety at Home