Few things are as fun as visiting the beach or pool over Labor Day, savoring one last summer weekend. But do you know how to ensure a safe visit with children of all ages? The American Red Cross has guidelines to prevent drowning and encourage safe supervision around the water.
DROWNING: LAYERS OF PROTECTION Every day, an average of 10 people die in the U.S. from unintentional drowning – and 1 in 5 are children 14 or younger, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children and fifth leading cause for people of all ages. In addition, for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
Layers of protection are essential to help prevent drowning. These layers can provide backup if one protective strategy fails. The Red Cross Circle of Drowning Prevention illustrates these layers so you can plan ahead and help prevent drowning:
Also see a recent article covering increased efforts to reduce drowning.
WATER SUPERVISION TIPS Let’s take a closer look at supervision, which is different around the water than in most other settings. Around the water, supervision can mean the difference between life and death. It requires total and constant attention to those in the water or going to get in the water. In fact, in most drownings, lack of good supervision allowed the drowning to occur. Even when lifeguards are on duty, children should also be watched by those who brought them.
Here are some tips for providing good supervision around water:
WATER SAFETY VIDEOS The short videos below were prepared by an aquatics specialist from the Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and offer specific water safety tips based on children’s age ranges:
The Red Cross strongly encourages you to get training to help you prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies around water. Training could include swim lessons and water safety, first aid and CPR courses. Visit Take a Class on redcross.org to learn more – the knowledge you gain could make a lifesaving difference.