Safety from Drowning
Around 40 children die each year in the UK due to drowning. In 2005 data, 40% were swimming or playing at the time and 40% fell in accidentally.
In the United States:
- drowning is the No.1 cause of death for 1-4 year olds No.2 Cause for 1-14 years
- Children under one year are most likely to drown in either bathtubs, buckets, or toilets whereas children aged 1 to 4 years tend to drown in residential swimming pools.
- An estimated 5,000 children 0-14 are hospitalized due to unintentional drowning-related incidents each year
- 20% of children's drowning deaths are in public pools with certified lifeguards present.
Younger children are most likely to die close to home, usually by escaping supervision. Older children tend to drown away from home at rivers and beaches.
Water is fun but also dangerous so make sure you take on board the lessons here for your children's safety.
Safety Tips to prevent Drowning
- Supervise children with 100% concentration when they are near water. If you want to take a break then take turns with your partner but you both must know who is designated to do it at any moment in time.
- The majority of 2-3 year olds drown in your own or your neighbour's garden
- Ponds, hot tubs or swimming pools in gardens are known to kill children. Avoid having them.
- If you must have ponds, hot tubs or swimming pools they should remain guarded, fenced and locked at all times. Children must not be left unsupervised. Oftentimes a communications breakdown is a factor in the accident. Ensure alarms on doors and all access points are installed, operational and tested. Also covers for pools and hot-tubs should be rigid
- Small children can drown in relatively small water volumes (e.g. a bucket or sand pit water) so regularly ensure your garden does not have these hazards.
- Supervise children when playing in paddling pools at all times and empty them straight after use
- The bathroom is another place that younger children drown so keep this door locked. Toilets need to have locks on them.
- Never leave a young child alone in the bath and make sure the bath has anti-slip mats fitted
- Older children should be trained in good water survival skills and be made fully aware of the dangers
- All children should be taught how to swim at an early age but this won't necessarily stop them drowning.
- Keep toys out of pools since young children might try to go and get a favourite one.
- When children are in pools keep a phone nearby in case of emergency and have a ring & rope at the ready
- Don't allow your children to play on ice in the winter
- Always wear a lifejacket when fishing or canoeing and don't go away from designated areas
- Ensure children stay in designated areas for swimming in the sea, supervise them vigilantly and realise the strength and dangers of the tide. For example, swimming out with the tide or going out with an inflatable toy may seem all too easy and encourage children to swim further out. But they may find it impossible to swim/paddle back against the tide.
These videos include 'Drain Covers and Your Safety', 'Lifeguard Drain Cover Training', 'Got It Covered', 'Simple Steps to Safer Pools', 'Simple Steps Saves Lives Series', 'VGB Compliance Guides Series Introduction' and 'Pool Safely'. Available in English and Spanish'.
This website includes details on staying safe in community pools, staying safe in residential pools, drain entrapments, drowning and non-fatal submersion. Safety systems such as barriers, alarms and safety covers are described too.
This video explains the background and issues associated with having powerful subsurface pool suction pumps and the requirements for drain covers meeting a specific standard in the U.S. There is worldwide applicability to this issue and as a parent or carer it is important to know this danger. The U.S. Virginia Graeme Baker Act (which is a federal law to help prevent pool and spa suction entrapment) is touched upon.
This guide gives information on the potentially fatal combination of electricity and water and how pools, pas and hot tubs can be protected and properly maintained. A useful graphic giving information on 'Ways to Protect Yourself and Others from Shock and Electrocution' is shown.
This is a brief set of tips about water dangers (including buckets and toilets for toddlers) and advice on teaching kids key swimming rules.
This informative site gives some death and injury statistics related to drowning accidents. Information is given on water safety (diving safety, pool safety, pool covers, drowning prevention and boating safety). There is also a host of related links in the area of aquatic safety too.