Summer is heating up, which means families will be spending more time enjoying water activities. But a fun day at the beach or a poolside party can quickly turn into a life-threatening emergency.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. And of that age group, most drownings occur in home swimming pools.
Here’s what you can do stay safe around the water:
- Never leave a child unattended in or near water. Appoint a designated watcher to monitor children during social gatherings. Floatation devices should never be used as a substitute for supervision.
- Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible. Formal swimming lessons reduces the risk of drowning among children aged 1-4 years old.
- Have appropriate safety equipment around your pool. Install barriers (e.g. four-sided pool fence), covers and alarms on and around your pool.
- Remove pool toys from the area. Clear the area of any items that may tempt children into entering the pool area unsupervised.
- Learn how to perform CPR on infants, children and adults. Every second counts during an emergency. Bystander CPR saves lives and can improve outcomes in drowning victims.
Keep in mind that drowning doesn’t look like the movies. In fact, child drowning is often silent. So, if you stop hearing noise, you need to investigate why immediately. And then respond accordingly.
Check out the HSI Emergency Care blog for more water safety tips. And for detailed steps for performing infant and child CPR.