As Independence Day gatherings of family and friends approach, it becomes increasingly important to be aware of the risk of child drowning incidents around pools and bodies of water.
Child Drowning Statistics
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an average of 26 children each year die in drowning incidents on the Fourth of July over the past three years in the United States.
In the United States accidental drowning is the second highest cause of death for children under the age of 14 right after traffic related accidents so it is a very real threat and must be taken seriously.
There has typically been a significant increase in the number of child drowning on this holiday each year, and there are several important steps that parents and guardians should take to avoid child accidents in the water.
Preventing Childhood Drowning
Below is an excerpt from the Pool Safely website with some safety tips and advice for parents and guardians:
Fiumara and Milligan Law reminds all families to take the following steps to ensure that their time at the pool is safe for everyone – not just during the July 4th holiday, but all year long:
-Stay Close, Be FULLY Alert and Watch Children in and Around the Pool.
-Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water, a child can easily drown in a few inches of water.
-Designate a water watcher to supervise children in the pool or spa. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smart phone or otherwise distracted. Adults can take turns being a Water Watcher—This is just a critical as a “DESIGNATED DRIVER” as in DUI!
-Teach children basic water safety tips. When in a boat always fit your child with a safety jacket.
-Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
-Never swim alone. Have your child swim with others in pairs.
-Have a telephone close by when you or your family are using a pool or spa.
-If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.
-Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors.
Learning and Practicing Water Safety Skills
-Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
-Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly.
-Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency.
-Before sending your child to a swimming camp or any camp this summer check out their safety record and make sure that their staff and lifeguards are certified and attentive.
Having the Appropriate Equipment for Your Pool or Spa
-Install a four-foot or taller fence around the perimeter of the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
-Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa that is sturdy enough for a child’s weight.
-If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install and use a door or pool alarm.
-Always use pool and spa covers and maintain in good working order.
-Ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal standards. If not sure then ask your pool service provider. Find out if these comply with the law.
-Have lifesaving equipment such as life vests, life rings, floats or a reaching pole available and easily accessible.
For more info on drowning and swimming pool accidents in the North Bay, please call Fiumara and Milligan Law at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 for a FREE case evaluation.
CLICK HERE for more info on drownings and swimming pool accidents in the North Bay and how Fiumara and Milligan Law can help!