Children's Drowning Prevention
Unfortunately, children of all ages face the risk of drowning. A false sense of security or a relatively low level of water can trick parents or children into thinking that the child is safe. However, serious injuries or even death can occur if the parents and children are not aware of the dangerous risks. Near drowning and childhood drowning can occur in many different situations including hot tubs, pools, bathtubs, beaches, lakes, and buckets. Any water activity such as sailing, jet skiing, surfing or water skiing is associated with water related accidents and fatalities.
The vast majority of drowning incidents across the United States happen when a child is left alone in the bathtub or falls into a pool. In only a matter of a few seconds, a child can drown and this most often occurs when a child has been left unattended or during a lapse in supervision. Information shared by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that approximately 945 children die every single year from drowning. These children are all under age 20. Nearly half of the individuals who suffer fatal injuries in drowning accidents are infants and toddlers younger than age 5.
Laws and regulations that are designed to address water safety issues and personal floatation device mandates can help to decrease the number of children significantly injured or killed in drowning issues. Environmental protection such as life guards and pool fences can also protect you from drowning.
Teaching children the proper techniques for survival swimming, using life jackets, emphasizing safety issues when boating or engaged in any other underwater activity and closely supervising children who are engaged in water activities is extremely important for preventing drowning.
One of the things that makes a drowning risk much more likely for children is that they are often attracted to water because it is fun to splash, sparkly and things float in it. However, water safety is a serious matter. Any person, child or adult, can have a water-related accident and this even applies to children who already know how to swim. There are several different things that you can do to enhance water safety.
For parents, this includes supervision, teaching children to swim and learning cardio pulmonary resuscitation. If you have a home pool or spa, your risks of serious injury or drowning for children are much higher. Installing a fence at least four feet tall that makes the pool area distinct from the yard and the fence can help to keep children out of there. Any fence that a child can easily climb should be avoided. Install self-latching and self-closing gates that keep children out of the pool area. Using alarms on any door that goes to the pool area can help to notify parents when a child has slipped outside or intends to go into the pool. Blocking hot tub and pool access with an electric safety cover when the pool or hot tub is not in use can keep children out. Any above ground spa/pool steps or ladders can be locked and located back from a fence when the pool is not in use and an inflatable pool should be emptied after each individual use. Never leave toys for the pool in the water as it will attract children to the area. Another common risk for drowning has to do with drains in the pool. Never allow children to sit near or on a hot tub or pool drain; their hair or body parts can easily become entrapped by the strong suction used in these machines.
Safety vacuum release systems, multiple drains and specifically designed drain covers can help to prevent entrapment. It only takes a couple of seconds for a child to become trapped in or near a drain and if the parent is not nearby or there has been a lapse in supervision, a drowning incident can occur immediately that makes it difficult or impossible for the parent or others to resuscitate the child.
Given that drowning risks pose such serious problems for children of all ages and in any situation, being mindful and providing safety tips for children is extremely important in an effort to prevent drowning problems.
Has your child been injured or killed in a drowning accident because of someone else's negligence? If so, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim with the help of a NY injury attorney.