Every day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, 2 are children aged 14 or younger.
Water safety tips for all ages include:
Avoid drinking 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. Learn about and watch for dangerous waves or rip currents.
Put a fence around all home swimming pools, and keep the gate closed and locked.
When leaving the pool, clear the pool and deck of all toys in the area. This removes temptation for children to enter the pool area.
At least one responsible adult should supervise younger children when they swim or play in or around water. You should be close enough to reach a child at all times.
Teach your children to swim, but do not assume that this alone will prevent young children from drowning. Air-filled or foam toys (wings, noodles, inner-tubes) are not a replacement for lifejackets when boating or your child is out in open water.
Prevent drowning around the home:
See also: Bathroom safety - children
Shephard E, Quan L. Drowning and submersion injury. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 67.
Unintentional drowning: Fact Sheet. CDC. Last updated May 16, 2011. Viewed September 1, 2011.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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