WHY IT MATTERS?
Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between 1 and 4 years old. And it’s the third leading cause of death among children. In the United States 3,500 to 4,000 drowning occur on average each year. Many non-fatal drownings result in brain damage and life-long disabilities. Most often children drown in swimming pools and older children and adults in natural bodies of water like lakes and rivers.
In 2011, 70% of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those who drowned, 84% were not wearing a life jacket.
WHY KIDS DROWN?
Lack of swimming ability
Lack of barriers like pool fences
Lack of supervision of young children near pools and other water
Failure to wear personal floatation devices or life jackets
Alcohol use in or near the water
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Never leave your child unattended around water. We know it sounds strict, but there is no room for compromise on this one. Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water.
Put the cell phone away, forget about all the other things you have to do and give young children 100 percent of your attention when they are near or around water.
Empty all tubs, buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of children’s reach.
Keep toilet lids closed and use toilet seat locks to prevent drowning. It’s also a good idea to keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.
Parents have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better. Local hospitals, fire departments and recreation departments offer CPR training.
Plano Fire-Rescue’s Water Watcher Tags are tangible reminders to the adults who are tasked with supervising children in or near the water. While wearing the Water Watcher Tag, the adult does not take their eyes off the pool and does not leave the area before handing the tag and the job of supervising the pool off to another adult. Water Watcher Tags may be requested by emailing peggyha or calling 972-941-7421.
Always have your children wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. Make sure the life jacket fits snugly. Have the child make a “touchdown” signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits the child’s chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.
A large portion of boating accidents each year involve alcohol consumption by both boat operators and passengers. To keep you and your loved ones safe, it is strongly recommended not to drink alcoholic beverages while boating.
Infants and young kids are at a higher risk for hypothermia, so if you are taking a baby on a boat, just take a few extra precautions to keep your baby warm. If your children seem cold or are shivering, wrap them tightly in a dry blanket or towel.
Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool: They need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.
Check out http://www.usa.safekids.org/water/