It's a grim reality that each year children are injured, hospitalized or even die as a result of water submersion.
"From 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about 10 deaths per day," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The risk of water-related injuries is much higher for children than adults, "about 1 in 5 people who die from drowning are children and younger," continues the CDC findings.
Luckily, there are numerous measures you can take around and away from your home to minimize drowning risks.
Minimize risks around your home
When summer comes around that there’s likely to be more kiddie pools, buckets and other sources of water around your home, do a safety check.
Household safety measures can keep your kids safe from submersion injuries.
Make sure that if you have mobile toddlers you never leave buckets, basins or kiddie pools uncovered or otherwise accessible. As little as an inch of water presents a drowning risk to young children.
Children between the ages of 1-4 are most at risk for drowning in a home pool, according to WebMD.
However, many products on the market aim to make swimming pools inaccessible and safer for children of any age who might wander away from their caregivers.
Some of these are fences designed with self-closing and self-locking gates, rigid covers that slide over the pools and electronic alarms.
Teach your children to swim
A key way to protect your children from submersion injuries or drowning, according to the Mayo Clinic, is to teach them to swim beginning at a young age.
You can introduce children to water between the ages of 2-3, but you should hold your child at all times and focus on having the child practice moving their limbs and blowing bubbles.
When your child is 4-5, keep working on comfort and skills in the water. Key indicators she is ready for formal swimming lessons are, "she should be able to learn how to float independently, submerge her head under the water for 5-10 seconds, go from a standing to a swimming position without assistance, glide through the water, and use coordinated kicking and arm movements," according to Parents Magazine.
With a couple seasons of swimming lessons under your child's belt, you will still need to be diligent about water safety, including always requiring life jackets in deep water, but injury risks will be minimized.
Learn life-saving measures
One of the best things parents can do to reduce the risk of fatal drowning accidents is to learn life-saving techniques, reports the CDC.
Many community centers offer first aid and CPR certifications. Enrolling in one of these will give you a variety of first-responder skills that you can use in the event that one of your children or another child is involved in a submersion accident.
If your family has had a close call and wants more information on personal injury law, contact Robert J. DeBry and Associates.