Drowning is a leading cause of death among people of all ages. Learning and practicing water safety is important to prevent drowning accidents.
Water safety tips for all ages include:
Do not drink alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children around water.
When boating, know local weather conditions and forecasts. Watch for dangerous waves and rip currents.
Put a fence around all home swimming pools.
When leaving the pool, put away all toys from the pool and deck. This helps remove temptation for children to enter the pool area.
At least one responsible adult should supervise young children when they swim or play in or around water.
Teach your children to swim. But understand that this alone will not prevent young children from drowning. Air-filled or foam toys (wings, noodles, and inner tubes) are not a replacement for life jackets when boating or when your child is in open water.
Prevent drowning around the home:
Shephard E, Quan L. Drowning and submersion injury. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW III, et al., eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 67.
American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention. Policy statement -- prevention of drowning. Pediatrics. 2010;126:178-185.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Home and recreational safety: unintentional drowning: get the facts. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html. Accessed August 27, 2013.
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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