Over 3,500 unintentional drownings occur in the United States each year.
Males are more likely than females to drown: children age 1 to 4 years are especially at risk. Unfortunately, most of these accidents occur in home swimming pools. Minorities are disproportionately affected by drowning accidents. For example, the CDC reports African American males drown in swimming pools at a rate 10 more than Caucasians.
How you can protect your children from being one of these avoidable water fun statistics.
- Get your children swimming lessons – even at a young age. Research shows formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children 1 to 4 years.
- Prevent young children from gaining access to the pool area. Barricade off the swimming pool areas with four sided barriers/fences equipped with childproof gates.
- Follow and observe close supervision guidelines. Never allow children to swim in public pools without the presence of a trained lifeguard.
- In natural settings, swim with a buddy, use life jackets when boating (88% of drownings associated with boating accidents occurred in those not wearing life jackets), and by all means, observe rip-tide warnings.
- Avoid mixing alcohol with water fun. The CDC reports that alcohol use is involved in 70% of deaths associated with water recreation in adults and adolescents.
- Protect persons with seizure disorders; drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury death in those with seizures according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016. Home and Recreational Safety; Unintentional Drowning. Online [available at]: https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html Accessed May 19, 2019.