Drownings are the leading cause of death for children under the age of 14. Drowning kills more children between 1 and 4 years old than anything else except birth defects. (https://www.cdc.gov)
Good news, drownings can be prevented by taking the following steps:
Teach your children and loved ones how to swim!
The necessary basic skills needed include floating (face down and face up), getting to the middle of the pool and back to the side or steps, and getting out of the water on their own. One should be able to support themselves and maintain air exchange no matter where they are in the water.
Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)
Install a pool fence that completely surrounds your pool.
There should be no way to enter your pool except through a designated gate in the pool fence. The pool fence should have self-closing and self-latching gates which can help keep children, and pets, away from the area when they aren’t supposed to be swimming or aren’t supervised.
Swimming pool fences come in a lot of different shapes and sizes and can be made from a variety of materials. Some fences are permanent, while others are easily removable. Regardless if your children are great swimmers, many homeowner’s insurance policies have a “pool addendum” that requires a pool fence if your children are under a certain age. You can never be too careful!
Watch kids when they are in or near water, including bathtubs.
Drowning happens quickly and quietly, so adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like playing cards; reading; talking, texting, or playing on the phone. Don’t use alcohol or drugs near water, as they can lead to drowning.
Don’t let your children or loved one become a statistic. Taking these steps can give you peace of mind. And, better yet, you can continue to enjoy time at the pool, beach, river, and lake with your family and friends for many years to come.