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What Precautions Should Be Taken Around Water for the Safety of Children? (Risk of Drowning Related Injuries and Deaths)

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Summer is filled with adventures, vacations, swimming, and boating activities. It is a great time to spend with family and friends and to be active in the great weather. With great fun and adventure, there should also be the concepts of safety and supervision in mind especially when there are children participating in these activities. It should be noted that drowning is still a major casuse of death in children. While rates have been declining in recent years, drowning is still listed as the second leading cause of death in children between the ages of 1 to 18. Drowning deaths are limited to large bodies of water like oceans, rivers, and lakes. A child can also drown in a swimming pool, wading pool, portable pool, and even a bucket of water. As such, it is important for child care providers and parents to provide consistent supervision when children are in or near swimming, boating, and any place else there is a risk for drowning or personal injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides the following as tips for child safety and drowning prevention:

Caregivers, parents, counselors, and other adults who supervise children around water should learn and know CPR;

Toys and inflatables should not be left in or around the pool when not in use. These items can sometimes lure a child into a pool area that is not properly secured or enclosed to keep children out of the area.

Do not leave children alone or unsupervised during bath time. Even a short time period away from the child can lead to serious personal injuries and / or death due to drowning.

Do not leave children alone or unsupervised during swim time or near a pool that is not properly secured and enclosed. An adult should be within arm’s length of a child during swim related activities.

Swimming lessons are recommended or children ages 1 to 4 years old but lessons are not a guarantee that a child will never drown.

Have a telephone near the pool or swimming activity in case there is an emergency requiring the assistance of fire rescue.

For portable and plastic pools, make sure that all water is removed after use, that the pool is turned upside down, and otherwise properly stored away.
after each use and turn the pool upside down when finished.

Install a four-feet fence and / or other required fencing / enclosure for the pool and swimming area.

Make sure that pool enclosure is properly secured and latched and that children cannot manuever around the enclosure or manipulate the gate meant to keep children out of the area.

You can read some more tips at Tips to Keep Children Safe While Playing Around Water.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Swimming and Aquatic Injuries and Liabilities, Day Care Center Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.