It is our position that parents and caregivers should be aware of water safety. Scores of families will be looking for relief in area pools and lakes this summer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children age 1 to 14 years.
Drowning may not always look like drowning and often occurs without yelling or thrashing. In most cases, it is silent. Many child drownings occur with an adult within 25 yards. Riley Hospital for Children and the Indiana Child Fatality Review Team recommend the following to help keep children safe:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Assume if there is any body of water present, it is a potential risk to a child.
- Constant eyes-on adult supervision is the best way to prevent drowning fatalities.
- Require children to wear properly fitted Personal Flotation Devices that are U.S. Coast Guard approved whenever near bodies of water.
- Properly secure home swimming pools with a four-sided isolation fence, at least 5-feet high, equipped with a self-closing gate and self-latching lock.
- When more than one adult is responsible (or present) for the supervision of children, there must be a verbal handoff when a change in care occurs.