Drowning is the leading cause of death and disability in California for children under 5 years of age. In California during 2011, 58 children age 5 years old and under lost their lives to drowning. California Department of Developmental Services (DSS) data shows that 52 children per year survive but are disabled because of a near-drowning accident. Those who survive near-drowning accidents may live with severe disabilities for the remainder of their lives.
Drowning is preventable. Anyone can drown.
Drowning can be fast and silent, occurring without a struggle or splash.
Young children are more at risk and can drown in any body of water, including a bucket, bathtub, sink, pool or spa.
Drowning Prevention is most effective with a “layers of protection” approach:
Never leave a child alone near water, even for a few seconds.
A supervising adult should be close enough to touch the child under 4 years old near water.
Keep a constant adult eye on young children.
All collections of water are dangerous for infants and toddlers including bathtubs, buckets, toilets, ponds, spas, swimming pools, and natural water sites.
Swimming pools should have fences, alarms, and drains that meet regulations.
Pool gates should be self-latching, opening outward, with the latch out-of-reach for a child.
Keep reaching and throwing aids near a swimming pool.
All children should wear a personal floatation device while playing near bodies of water.
Parents and child caregivers should know how to perform rescue techniques and strategies to respond in an emergency.
With Summer upon us, it is a great time to encourage parents to review their family’s safety plan and take steps to prevent drowning accidents. While anyone can drown, drowning remains one of the leading causes of death and disability for individuals age 19 and under. Young children and infants may be more at risk to for drowning in ways that new parents may not have been aware. Please spend a few minutes with your clients and provide them with this information on how they can prevent a tragedy.