Drowning Prevention: What Parents Need to Know
orange life raft in empty pool

A pool is one of the go-to places for kids to have summer fun in the sun. But it can also be one of the most dangerous places. From 2017 through 2019, an estimated annual average of 6,700 children younger than 15 years of age were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for nonfatal injuries associated with pool or spa submersions. Water safety is important for all ages, but especially for toddlers. According to the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1-4.

Pool accidents can happen in a matter of seconds without warning. To keep your child safe, here are some important safety reminders to keep in mind when watching your child cool off in the hot summer sun.

Never Leave Children Unattended

Never leave a child unattended in or near water for any reason. Healthline reports that it takes less than two minutes for a child to drown. Parents should also be vigilant to keep an eye out for signs of dry or secondary drowning. The adult designated to watch the children swimming should not have any other distractions-no texting, reading, playing games on phones, etc. Their only task should be to keep watch of the children.

Install Proper Fencing, Barriers, Alarms, and Covers – Drowning Prevention

Proper fences, barriers, alarms, and covers can be life-saving devices. A fence of at least four feet in height should surround the pool or spa on all sides and should not be climbable for children. The water should only be accessible through a self-closing, self-latching gate. Keep the gate locked at all times and check it frequently to be sure it works. Keep toys out of the pool area when not in use so that children are not tempted to try to get through the fence during non-swim time. Also be sure to always cover and lock hot tubs, spas, and whirlpools right after using them. As an added safety precaution, install a door alarm from the house to the pool area, in order to be alerted of pool entries.

Start Swim Lessons as soon as your Child Is Ready

Swim lessons for parents and children are the first step towards water safety. The AAP suggests that by their 4th birthday, most children are ready for swim lessons. At this age, they usually can learn basic water survival skills such as floating, treading water, and getting to an exit point. By age 5 or 6, most children in swim lessons can master the front crawl. Always keep in mind that swim lessons are just one of several important layers of protection needed to help prevent drowning.

Ready to swim?

For over 25 years, Aqua Leisure has been leading the industry, working with certified swim instructors to develop our proven, 3-Level swim training program. Contact us to help teach your children smart and safe swimming tips, along with information for parents to help protect their adventurous little ones.