The statistics are alarming. More children ages 1 to 4 die from drowning than any other cause of death, and it is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury death in children ages 5 to 14.
In the US, nearly 1,000 children die each year from unintentional drowning, and you can bet those parents never thought it could happen to them.
Non-fatal drowning injuries can cause brain damage and other serious outcomes, including long-term disability. The longer a child is underwater and the longer it takes to start CPR, the worse the outcome. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
8 Warning Signs That Someone May Be Drowning
- Breathing has to come before speaking, so a drowning person often can't respond verbally or call for help.
- They have limited use of their arms and probably can not wave for help or even reach toward a rescuer.
- They show no evidence of kicking.
- Eyes may be glassy, unfocused, or closed.
- Hair may be in the face or covering the eyes.
- Their head is usually low in the water.
- They don't seem to be drowning. Rarely does drowning look the way it is portrayed in movies and TV shows, with lots of yelling and flailing around. If a person seems to be exhibiting any signs in 1-6, ask, "Are you OK?" If you don't receive a response, the answer is probably "No."
- A quiet child in the water may be drowning. Kids playing in the water make noise, and usually lots of it. If your child gets quiet while playing in the water, get to them immediately to find out why.
8 Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Kids Around Water
- Keep a watchful eye. There is no substitute for adults watching the kids in the water.
- Sign your child up for swimming lessons.
- Learn to swim yourself. If you don't know how to swim, sign yourself up for lessons too.
- Learn CPR. Classes are available through the Red Cross and many recreation centers.
- Never leave your child unattended near water, including bathtubs, buckets, toilets, pools, hot tubs, creeks, and lakes. The door and phone can usually go unanswered, and your child can come with you if it can't wait.
- Insist on life jackets. Noodles, water wings, and rafts are toys, not life-saving devices.
- Install fencing around backyard pools and hot tubs. Children are curious and they are quick. Create a barrier to slow them down.
- Keep a fully charged phone within reach, just in case you have to call 9-1-1.
Children ages 1 to 4 who take formal swimming lessons reduce their risk of drowning by up to 88%! Sign up for swim lessons at SafeSplash Swim School in Castle Rock or Lone Tree/Parker and save 10% on your first month! Swim lessons for your child could be your best investment ever!
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