Drowning can happen to any family.
Drowning is the leading cause of death among children 1-4 years old in Orange County, California and in the U.S.
For residential swimming pools, installation of a four-sided isolation fence that meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission standard is the primary barrier. Other barriers are secondary and may help by adding extra or multiple layers of protection but have not been shown to be effective through scientific research. Here are the strategies we must use to prevent childhood drowning:
Barriers – Including an isolation fence and supplementary barriers such as door alarms for layers of protection
Supervision – With no distractions such as cell phones
Swim Lessons – High quality, low-cost lessons which are typically available through your city, the local Y or the Red Cross
Life Jackets – U.S. Coast Guard-approved for open bodies of water and at pools for young children and unskilled swimmers
CPR – Immediate resuscitation at the submersion site with a focus on the airway and rescue breathing before compressions
Every year, we hear tragic stories about accidental drownings. Here is what Nicole, Levi’s mother, shared with the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Our three-year-old son, Levi, drowned in June 2018 while we were on a beach vacation with friends. One moment, he was sitting on the couch watching TV while I cleaned up dinner. In the next, I pulled him from the bottom of the pool. Levi had somehow slipped out of the kitchen filled with people, including myself, my husband, and five other physician friends.” Levi’s family is working tirelessly to prevent child drowning.
Sarah A. Denny, Linda Quan, Julie Gilchrist, Tracy McCallin, Rohit Shenoi, Shabana Yusuf, Benjamin Hoffman, Jeffrey Weiss, COUNCIL ON INJURY, VIOLENCE, AND POISON PREVENTION. Pediatrics May 2019, 143 (5) e20190850; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2019-0850. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/143/5/e20190850.full.pdf