9 Tips For Drowning Awareness and Prevention – Wallen Swim School in Roseville and El Dorado Hills, CA
Drowning is a frightening topic, but it is one that must be addressed. Like home fire safety, drowning prevention is a skill that must be learned and practiced by the entire family. Being aware of drowning hazards and learning how to avoid these hazards may help your family to avoid an unimaginable tragedy. If there is water, there is a risk of drowning, and children are particularly at risk.
- Drowning is the Number One cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4 years old.
- 3500 people will likely die as a result of drowning this year in the United States.
- 88% of child drownings occur with at least one adult present.
- Among those 1-14, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes.
- Nearly 9 out of 10 children between ages 1 and 14 who drowned were under supervision when they died.
Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your loved ones by learning how to be water safe. Drowning is preventable! Here are some key points to remember:
#1. Never Leave a Child Unattended Near Water.
NEVER leave a child unattended near any body of water, no matter how small it may be.
This includes toilets, bathtubs, drainage ditches, buckets, wells, cisterns, ponds, lagoons, pools, and hot tubs. Be aware of bodies of water near your home, and take the necessary steps to prevent drowning.
#2. Check the Water First.
If you are near any body of water, and a child is missing, check the water first. The American Red Cross states that “as many as 69% of young children who are found drowned or submerged in swimming pools were not expected to be in or at the pool”.
#3. Be Vigilant.
It only takes seconds for a drowning to occur. Taking your eyes off a child or any non-swimmer, even to do something as quick as reading a text or flipping through a magazine can result in tragedy. At least one or two competent adults should be the designated observers anytime your family gathers around water. Much like a designated driver, these observers take on the responsibility of remaining vigilant, sober, and focused solely on the task of watching the swimmers.
How can children drown while under adult supervision as the statistics prove? It is simply because that too often that supervision is not solely focused on the water and the children in it. It is also because many adults often have lapses in supervision, believing that another adult is watching the water and the children. Many adults do not know the signs of drowning. Did you know that most drowning victims DO NOT call for help?
A drowning person has one priority: breathe.
Drowning only takes seconds; a few seconds of grasping for something to keep them at the surface, and then submersion. It is that fast and that deadly.
Here are some resources to keep your child safe during swim time:
#4. Invest in Safety Equipment.
If you are at the lake, ocean or pool, there are a few items that should always be close at hand.
A phone should be readily accessible for an emergency call. A life-saving ring or another flotation device on a line should be available to offer to someone in distress in the water. Backyard pools, both above and below ground, plastic wading pools, and hot tubs should be fenced to a height of at least 60”, with a secure self-latching gate.
#5. Learn To Swim.
The American Red Cross states that “when parents have no/low swimming skills (or competence) ability, their children are unlikely to have proficient swimming skills”. Lead your children by setting a positive example, and sign up for adult swimming lessons.
#6. Invest In First Aid & CPR Training
In just a day or two, you can learn the vital first aid skills needed to save a life. These skills are easy to learn, do not require a great deal of “textbook” learning, and can literally make a life or death difference. Check out first aid providers in your area, such as the American Red Cross.
#7. Always Wear a Lifejacket
Small children and weak swimmers should wear lifejackets anytime they are near water, including pools and waterparks. Lifejackets are not a substitute for constant adult supervision. If you are out on the water in a boat, canoe, or paddleboat, remember that lifejackets only work if they are being worn.
#8. Practice the Arms Reach Rule.
Be in the water with small children and non-swimmers. If you are not within arm’s reach, you have gone too far. Small children are often unable to recover from a fall into even very shallow water as their own buoyancy makes it difficult to get their feet onto solid ground. Be there for them when this happens so that you can quickly and safely bring them back up to the surface. Being within arms reach allows you to keep them safe.
#9. Enroll Children in Swimming Lessons.
Swimming Lessons will Provide Your Children with The Skills and Knowledge They Need to Be Water Safe. Children Have so Much Fun Learning to Swim, It Is a Great Way to Be Physically Active, and It Will Help Reduce Their Risk of Drowning.
The Water Offers a Wealth of Fun, Exciting, and Healthy Activities. This Information Is Not Meant to Discourage You from Taking Advantage of All the Wonderful Benefits Water Has to Offer. Learn to Be Water Safe, Learn to Swim, and Be Aware of Drowning Hazards in And Near Your Home. Educate Yourself, Your Family, and Your Children. Being Prepared, Knowledgeable, and Skilled Means that You Can Enjoy the Water and Prevent Drowning.
If You Want to Learn More About Water Safety and How Your Family Can Learn how To Be Water Safe, Come See Us at Steve Wallen Swim School.