How We Can Prevent Drowning
Family life with little kids is busy, especially in that period after dinner when you're giving the kids baths, doing the dishes, laying pajamas out and prepping for the next day. When a child is playing happily in the bath, it's tempting to leave them for a minute while you check another quick task off your to-do list. However, the statistics of accidental drowning tell us it's just not worth the risk.
An article in Today explains that approximately 87 children die each year from drowning at home, with "two-thirds of them in the bath and sometimes in as little as two inches of water." The key to prevention? Supervision. No matter how steady they are, or content they seem, things can change in an instant and a young child may not be able to help themselves get their head clear of water.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that drowning is the second (next to congenital birth defects) most common cause of death among 1-4 year olds.
A few risk factors the CDC identifies are:
- Lack of supervision.
- Unrestricted access to bodies of water (e.g. unlocked gate to the pool, a full bath tub with open bathroom door).
- Alcohol or other factors that limit an adult's ability to supervise the child.
- Seizures—if children suffer from seizures, then watching them closely in the water is even more important.
The main lesson is that we must pay attention. Swimming and bathing are favorite activities for many children, but ones that they must engage in with the supervision of a parent or caring adult.
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