What is the leading cause of accidental death in children 1–4 years of age?
- Motor Vehicle Accidents?
- Fires and Burns?
- Ingestion of poisons?
That was a trick question, and hopefully most of you know the correct, tragic answer. Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1-4 than any other cause except congenital anomalies (birth defects) according to CDC fatal injury data.
The summer months are here (May thru August) when drowning deaths among children increase nearly 90%. So, I wanted to post a quick blog that I hope you will share with your family and friends. It is not all inclusive, but I hope it may save children’s lives.
Please read if your kids are around ANY type of pool:
- Every second counts. If a child is missing, always look in the pool or hot-tub first.
- Always remember a child drowning is SILENT. No splashing or calling for help.
- Learn and practice CPR so you can help in an emergency.
- Teach children to swim, float and other basic life-saving skills; but never consider young children “drown-proof” because they have had swimming lessons.
- Empty and put away smaller portable pools after every use.
- Once the pool is set up, ensure high levels of supervision.
- Fence all pools and encourage your neighbors to do the same.
- Cover larger portable pools and put access ladders away when adults are not present.
- Install alarms on doors leading from the house to the pool area that will alert you when someone enters the pool area.
- Make sure your neighbors, babysitters and visitors know about the pool’s presence in your yard.
All of these are very important, but I highlighted the second one in red because I feel it’s one of the big misconceptions about drowning. A drowning child is SILENT. There will be no calls for help. No splashing or thrashing around.
Adult supervision is key. If your child is in or near the pool (of any size, even a temporary pool) you need to watch them. And I don’t mean watch them while reading Fifty Shades of Grey or doing some yard work. I mean eyes on watching.