As the summer's heat rises, so do water related injuries in children. Whether children are playing in the pool, the lake or even the bathtub, parents need to take the proper precautions to keep them safe.
"The most important thing when it comes to water safety is to always supervise your children," said Anne Garinger, Iowa SAFE KIDS Coalition Coordinator at Blank Children's Hospital. "You cannot depend on floatation devices alone to prevent drowning."
Water safety is a growing concern as 1,000 children ages 14 and younger drown each year. Over half of these children are ages four and younger. More than 85 percent of drownings among children ages one to four are pool related. The depth of the water in which children drown is not near as important as the lack of supervision. Young children can even drown in the bathtub at home. In fact, more than half of infant drownings occur in bathtubs.
"For every child who drowns an additional four are hospitalized for near drowning and 16 are treated in hospital emergency departments," Garinger said. "These numbers can be greatly reduced if parents just take the initiative to take extra precautions for their children's safety."
The Iowa SAFE KIDS Coalition recommends the following tips to keep your child safe in water:
- Never leave a child unsupervised in or around water in the home.
- Never leave a child unsupervised in or around a swimming pool or spa, even for a moment.
- Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal floatation device when on a boat, near open bodies of water or when participating in water sports.
· Air-filled swimming aids "water wings" are not considered safety devices and are not substitutes for personal floatation devices (PFD).
For more information visit Blank Children's.