Swimming Pool Drownings Remains Number Two Cause Of Death In Children After Auto Accidents As Reports Of Swimming Pool Accidents Continue This Summer.
According to the CDC, drowning remains the number two cause of death for children under the age of twelve just behind automobile accidents. Just this year, multiple children have died in swimming pool accidents, including a four-year old girl who died at a friend’s birthday party in Colorado and a boy who nearly died while swimming at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park.
According to the police report, a boy who was swimming at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park started to drown but was pulled out of the water just in time. The boy was sent to the hospital to treat his injuries and was released from the hospital the following day. The girl from Colorado, however, did not survive her injuries. The four-year-old girl slipped away from a birthday celebration when everyone else was eating cake and fell into the home’s above-ground pool. The girl drowned before anyone in the house realized she was missing. [http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/boy-flown-hospital-after-pool-accident-back-camp-t/nm4TC/, August 2015] [http://kdvr.com/2015/08/03/little-girl-drowns-in-pool-while-at-friends-birthday-party-in-windsor/, August 2015]
According to the Centers for Disease Control, downing is known as the silent killer because it can happen in just 20 to 60 seconds. In most drowning cases, there are no cries for help or visible, violent splashing. The CDC estimates that about 10 Americans drown each day in swimming pool accidents. One in five of these accidents occur in children younger than 14. [http://www.cdc.gov/Features/dsSafeSwimmingPool/, August 2015]
Risk Factors for Swimming Pool Accidents
Children are in the most danger from drowning. Males are also at higher risk, accounting for about 80 percent of all drowning deaths. The CDC states that the following risk factors increase a child’s risk of a swimming pool accident:
Lack of Protection
Unguarded pools contribute to drowning. Pools with gates, fences, covers, and locked doors all help prevent drowning accidents.
Lack of Swimming Skills
Children who know how to swim are less likely to drown (although it can easily happen even for children who know how to swim). The CDC states that formal swimming lessons significantly reduce a child’s risk of drowning.
Children are far more likely to drown in home pools. Children can also drown in bathtubs and buckets of water. Parents can help reduce drowning risk by never leaving a child unattended when water is nearby.
Lack of Supervision
Children can start to drown in as little as 20 seconds. Parents and caregivers should always keep a sharp eye on children near bodies of water and swimming pools.
How to Prevent Swimming Pool Accidents
Caregivers can easily reduce a child’s risk of drowning by implementing the following safety precautions:
Pool fencing or other guards or barriers around a pool will reduce the risk of swimming pool accidents. Fences should be at least four feet high and have self-closing and self-latching gates. Pool covers can also provide protection. Above-ground pools also should be guarded as they are a significant cause of death in children under five years of age.
All children between the ages of one and four should take formal swimming lessons. This can reduce the chances of drowning by up to 88 percent.
Never leave a child alone at a pool. Always be within touching distance of children under the age of four and children who cannot swim well.
Young children should always wear properly fitting life jackets at the pool. Use jackets designed as lifesaving devices rather than inexpensive “floaties,” which cannot prevent a child from drowning.
Adults watching children at a pool should all know CPR. According to the CDC, using CPR immediately after pulling a drowning victim out of the pool can reduce the risk of death and brain damage.