Water is as deadly as it is fun. As the summer season begins, there are simple water safety steps that parents or supervising adults can follow to reduce the number of water related injuries and deaths.
1. Get a life jacket for your child. Life jackets can prevent water accident and drowning
2. Teach your child to swim. Many local organizations give swimming lesson for free and some at a low cost.
3. Be mindful of drain. They can suck your child. Drains can kill.
4. Don’t consume so much alcohol that you’re impaired when you need to watch after your child while they play in water (stay alert)
5. Stop texting, stay off the phone and pay attention to your child. Do keep an eye on your child.
6. Fence your swimming pool or install another safety measure. If you have a pool, insure that it is fenced away to keep your child or the neighbor’s child from falling into it or going swimming without supervision.
According to the Center for Disease Control, there were 3, 343 unintentional drowning in the U.S in 2007 (all were from non-boating related.) That’s about 10 deaths per day. Additionally, 496 died in boating related incidents reported in 2007. There are also non-fatal accidents caused by drowning. And, according “For every child who dies from drowning, another four received emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.”
“More than 55 percent of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for higher levels of care (compared to a hospitalization rate of 3–5 percent for all unintentional injuries). These injuries can be severe.”
“Nonfatal drownings can cause brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities including memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state.)”
Not everything is within your control, but control those that are in your hands. I made this list last summer at the end of the season, determined to raise awareness on this issue. I visited many beaches last summer and saw way too many children including toddlers being swept away by the waves of the ocean as their parents rush into the water to scoop away their youngsters. Of all the little swimmers I saw, only one child with a life vest on.
The rest of them were potential victims of fatal and life altering injuries. If you read this article, tell your friends, your relatives, neighbors, co-workers of the dangers that water can pose and how they can help reduce injuries and deaths. Happy summer.