Now that the weather has warmed up and most children are home from school, backyard pools, waterparks, hotel pools, and community pools will be bustling for the next few months. After all, summer is all about having fun in the sun and playing in the water, especially if you’re a child or teenager.
Unfortunately, the summer season generally means an uptick in accidental drownings and near-drownings, most of which are entirely preventable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “drownings are a leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 14, and three children die every day as a result of drowning.” The CDC goes on to say that drowning takes the lives of more children between the ages of 1 and 4 than any other cause, with the exception of birth defects.
For more drowning statistics from the CDC, click here.
How to Prevent a Drowning
If you are a parent, or if you will be caring for children over the summer, it’s critical that you learn how to prevent a child from drowning. Even if it’s not your own child, or a child that you are watching, this information may still help you save another child’s life.
Key drowning prevention tips:
- If you’re a parent, enroll your child in swimming lessons until they become excellent swimmers.
- Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
- If you have a pool in your backyard, fence it off with a four-sided isolation fence equipped with self-closing and self-latching gates. This prevents small children from falling in the pool.
- If you go near a natural body of water, such as the ocean, a lake, or a river, require all children under your care to wear lifejackets, regardless of swimming ability. A weaker swimmer can wear a lifejacket in a pool too.
- Watch children closely near water. If kids are swimming on your backyard pool, or if you’re at a pool party, keep a close watch on the kids. Drowning is quick and quiet, and often occurs within feet of a distracted adult. Avoid consuming alcohol or drugs, or engaging in distracted activities when children are in the pool. Even checking social media, chatting on the phone, or running into the house to get a few chores done can distract you long enough for a child to drown while in your presence.
If someone you love has been injured or killed in a drowning accident on private or commercial property, we urge you to contact our firm to schedule a free consultation with a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney.