May is typically seen as the beginning of the Summer season. Many schools have ended classes. Children gather at local pools. Families vacation at a nearby lake or beach.
Along with the Summer season, May is also the beginning of the season of drowning tragedies across the country. Whenever families spend time around water, whether it is the community pool, local lake or beach, drowning tragedies are sure to follow.
Drowning is the second leading cause of death to children between the ages 1-4 in the United States. In most areas, the majority of drowning cases occur in backyard pools and spas. A drowning is often silent, without splashing or a call for help. Watch your children closely when they are around water.
The National Prevention Drowning Alliance and partners like Nekdoodle® support May as the National Drowning Prevention Month. The primary goal of National Drowning Prevention Month is to raise awareness and education regarding water safety.
Water safety and drowning prevention require a multi-faceted approach, including:
Never leave a child unattended near water. Emphasize the need for supervision around water with babysitters and caregivers.
Barriers for Swimming Pools
Install fencing that completely separates the backyard pool from the house and other child play areas. Pool fence should be installed by a professional. Ensure that the fence is not able to be climbed by children and is at least 60” tall.
All adults and children should learn to swim. Swimming lessons are not a substitute for supervision and barriers. Do not assume that because your child can swim they are no longer at risk for drowning. Even a world-class swimmer can drown.
Prepare for Emergencies
CPR training is important for families with pools. Know how to react to an emergency. Also, keep a phone near the pool in case you need to make an emergency call. Keep life saving devices, like an life ring or shepherd’s hook at the poolside.
Summer is here. Please join the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and their partners like Nekdoodle® in helping to educate the public to avoid drowning tragedies.