WATER SAFETY

WATER SAFETY TIPS

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WHY SWIMMING LESSONS AT A YOUNG AGE?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) revised 2019 policy statement:

Drowning is the leading cause of injury death in the U.S. children 1 through 4 years of age.

5 evidence based drowning prevention water safety strategies are:
Barriers, Supervision, Swim lessons, Life Jackets, CPR

Drowning is silent and only takes a minute.
Evidence suggests that swim lessons may reduce the risk of drowning.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) learning to swim may reduce the risk of drowning by up to 88%.

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Parents and caregivers should be advised to never- even for a moment- leave young children alone or in the care of another young child while in or near bathtubs, pools, spas, wading pools, irrigation ditches ponds or other open standing water.
  • Parents and caregivers must be aware of drowning risks associated with hazards in the home, including infant bath seats, toilets and containers filled with water.
  • Supervision of children in and around the water must be close, constant and attentive.
    Families should install a four-sided fence that separates the pool from the house and the rest of the yard with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
  • Parents, caregivers and pool owners should learn CPR and keep a telephone and equipment approved by the U.S. Coast Guard (e.g., life buoys, life jackets, and a reach tool, such as a shepherd’s crook) near pools.
  • Children and parents need to learn to swim. Basic water competency swim skills include ability to enter the water, surface, turn around, propel oneself for at least 25 yards and then exit the water.
  • All children and adolescents should be required to wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets whenever they are in or on watercraft, and all adults should wear life jackets when boating to model safe behavior and to facilitate their ability to help their child in case of emergency. Small children and non-swimmers should wear life jackets when they are near water and when swimming.

Dr. Denny, the lead author of the policy statement, is a member of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention Executive Committee.

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