While drowning deaths among children in the U.S. has declined significantly in the past 20 years, parents and other adults should always remain vigilant when children are around water.
Studies show that there are different levels of risk for death by drowning for children, depending primarily on age. Children under the age of four are most likely to die from drowning, primarily in bathtubs or after falling into water. Older children are more likely to drown in swimming accidents.
Here are some tips on preventing accidental drowning:
- Supervise children carefully whenever they are around water.
- Teach children to swim at an early age. Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children under the age of 4!
- Always have children swim with a buddy.
- Select swimming areas that have a lifeguard on duty.
- Use life jackets rather than inflatable toys or “water wings”.
- Learn CPR – it could mean the difference between life and death.
- Install a four-foot fence around the entire pool that separates it from the yard and/or home. Use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward.
- Use a pool alarm to alert you when someone has entered the water.
- Keep pool toys off the deck and out of the pool so that children are not attracted to them, and to prevent them from tripping and falling into the pool.
- Be aware of current weather conditions and forecasts when you visit a beach or lake – check online at weather.com and add the weather.com app to your smart phone.
- Know the meaning of colored beach flags.
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