As spring warms up and we head into summer, your kids are probably begging to set up the pool or go to your local waterpark. Unfortunately, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved when you decide to splash around in the wave pool or try out that new waterslide.
Who is most at risk?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drowning is one of the most prevalent risks that lead to unintentional injury deaths in the United States.
Scarily, some of the most at-risk people for drowning are children, specifically those between ages one and four. Drowning is the second leading cause of death in children this age after birth defects, and up to age 14, it is the second leading cause of death following motor vehicle crashes.
What factors lead to drowning?
There can be multiple factors that lead to the tragic event of the fatal drowning of children. The first is swimming ability. Research shows that formal swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning for children between one and four years old.
Secondly, a lack of barriers can put children at risk for drowning. At home, studies showed that when there was fencing around all four sides of a pool, there was an 83% reduction in the risk of drowning.
The third risk is a lack of supervision. Since drowning can happen so quickly, the attention of adults and lifeguards can quickly save a life.
Fourth, a lack of life jackets significantly increases the risk of death. When someone is not a strong swimmer or becomes injured in or around the water, life jackets are a life-saving and necessary accessory.
Finally, seizure disorders can put anyone at risk for drowning if a seizure occurs while in or near the water. With proper safety measures like life jackets, barriers and proper supervision, we can significantly decrease the risk of drowning for everyone, but especially for children.