2020 Drowning Prevention

It’s time for us to redouble our anticipatory guidance on water safety and drowning prevention. Drowning remains the leading cause of injury related death in children and a significant cause of morbidity.

Key Messages for Families

Barriers. Pool Fences meeting the Consumer Product Safety Commission Standards. (https://www.poolsafely.gov/)

Supervision at all times is critical when children are expected to be around water. Assign a Water Watcher to provide constant, attentive supervision. Adult supervisors should be water competent and know CPR.

Life Jackets U.S. Coast Guard life jackets should be worn by children and adults who are not competent swimmers.

Swim Lessons for children over 1 year of age and all adults. However, remind parents that swimming does not ensure water competency. Swimming skills can be life-saving.


Injuries Can Be Prevented

AAP-OC’s Injury and Violence Prevention Initiative provides expertise, evidence-based guidelines and public policy advocacy for childhood injury and violence prevention. Our goal is to reduce childhood injuries in Orange County.

Injury, both intentional and unintentional, is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States for children beyond the first year of life. These injuries will have lasting impacts, including total lifetime economic costs of more than $50 billion in medical expenses and lost productivity.

Injuries can be prevented through enabling system changes (public policy and laws, environment and engineering), as well as changes in community and individual behaviors.

Orange County Key Injury Facts

  • Each day, 1 child under 5 years is seriously injured
  • Each month, 2 die as a result of injury
  • Assault (homicide) is a leading cause of death among children less than 1 year of age
  • Drowning is the leading cause of death for toddlers
  • Pedestrian injuries are a leading cause of death
  • Motor vehicle occupant injuries are leading causes of death and serious injury among most age groups, and the leading cause of death among adolescents, followed by suicide and homicide

Safe Sleep and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Did You Know?

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of infant death between 1 month and 1 year of age.
  • More than 90% of all SIDS deaths occur before babies reach 6 months of age.
  • Risk of SIDS is 3 times higher in babies born with low birth weight.
  • Accidental Suffocation is the leading cause of infant injury deaths.
  • An Orange County baby dies while sleeping in an adult bed or sharing a bed with another person nearly every other month.

Local Resources:

Orange County Health Care Agency: Safe Sleep and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Page

Safe Sleep Brochure – English
Safe Sleep Brochure – Spanish
Safe Sleep Brochure – Vietnamese

California Department of Public Health Center for Family Health

Infant Safe Sleep Strategies Family-Centered Approach

Injury and Violence Prevention Program Materials

Choose from a wide variety of materials and media that the Injury and Violence Prevention Program has to offer pediatricians and other child health specialists.

Foundations for Child Drowning Surveillance Project

The Foundations for Child Drowning Surveillance Project funded by the California Kids’ Plates Grant Program in 2008 was designed to improve the quality and consistency of multi-agency drowning surveillance in California. The project objectives were:

  1. To develop and produce a comprehensive report on the state of drowning surveillance in pools/spas among young children in Southern California
  2. To create a “How To Handbook” illustrating the necessary components for building successful multi-agency drowning surveillance protocols at the local, county, and state level
  3. To promote the adoption of standardized drowning surveillance state-wide

Standardized drowning surveillance can be used to monitor trends and identify risk and protective factors in order to set priorities and guide drowning prevention policies and strategies.

Review the AAP Drowning Prevention Policy Statement

Buckle Up Orange County

Orange County Child Passenger Safety Resource Guide – Updated Sept. 2018

This resource guide provides information for the following services:

  • Free car seats for low income families
  • Car seat inspections by certified technicians
  • Educational classes
  • Help installing your car seat

For more information, visit the Orange County Health Care Agency website.

Teen Safe Driving

The American Academy of Pediatrics, Orange County Chapter with support from The Allstate Foundation implemented the Teen Safe Driving Program with the goals of increasing awareness regarding the Graduated Driver License policy, and to reduce teen driving deaths. The national AAP released its first policy statement recommending Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws in 1996 in response to the high number of fatalities and injuries among teen drivers. As a result of over 15 years of pediatric advocacy, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have a 3-tiered Graduated Licensing System for teen drivers. These include a learner’s permit, an intermediate or provisional license, and a full-privileged driver’s license. Unfortunately, the strength of these laws varies widely, with some states adopting more stringent provisions than others in specific areas such as the number of required hours of supervised behind-the-wheel training and restrictions on night time driving, teenage passengers and mobile phone use. (For a full description of recommended provisions and state-by-state requirements, click here.) Currently no state has a law that meets all the AAP recommendations for teen driving safety.