Summer Swimming and Water Safety

Last week a friend of mine shared a link on Facebook about how his toddler son nearly drown at swimming lessons. The story is making headlines and as a mom of two, it truly shook me to the core. In recent weeks as the temperature has warmed up, the number of drownings, or near-drownings, reported in the news has skyrocketed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day about ten people die from unintentional drowning, and drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14 years.

From accidents at campground trips, family vacations, public pools and backyard tragedies, I am reminded of the factors that influence drowning risks and the importance of never leaving a child unattended in water, including a bathtub. While watching a preschool age child, “touch supervision,” being close enough to reach the child at all times is essential.

To help prevent water-related injuries:

-install a fence around a pool, including inflatable pools

-install child safety locks on toilets

-keep children away from buckets of water, even a small amount of water can pose a risk for a child

-learn CPR, it can be a lifesaver when seconds count

After hearing about my friend’s experience with his son, I learned that my understanding of a drowning is not what I expected. I thought a child would be splashing and waving their arms around to get attention. According to a Consumer Product Safety Commission news release, “Many times, however, children slip under the water silently. Even people near the pool report hearing nothing out of the ordinary.”

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