As the weather heats up, many families are cooling off by enjoying a swim in pools, lakes and rivers. But because drowning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths in kids from one to four, and one of the leading causes of death in teenagers, it is critically important to take the proper precautions to keep kids safe when they are in and around water. In 2017, almost 1,000 children died from drowning in the U.S., and there were approximately 8,700 emergency room visits for drowning.
Additionally, near-drowning can be devastating, causing an anoxic brain injury that can lead to significant lifelong problems. Losing a child to drowning is a tragedy that is preventable.
There are many layers of protection that can be employed in ensuring water safety. When kids are swimming or even near the water, assign a designated adult “water watcher.” This person should remain free of distractions, such as socializing, reading or using a cellphone, and should not be drinking alcohol. Even if there is a lifeguard on duty or other adults around, it is still very important to have an adult monitoring the kids because drowning is often silent and can happen very quickly. Adults can take turns rotating this simple and important job.