Written by Laura Stetser Saturday, July 12, 2014 12:00 am
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Drowning is second leading cause of death among children 1 to 4 years of age
As the summer continues to heat up, parents are advised to be vigilant in safety precautions while their children are near pools and othe bodies of water.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning causes more deaths among children 1 to 4 years of age than any other cause except birth defects. It is also the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 1 to 14, trailing only motor vehicle crashes.
“The opportunity to spend time in the water during the summer is one of the best ways for children and families to keep cool,” said New Jersey Department of Children and Families Commissioner Allison Blake in a press release “Taking safety precautions is paramount because water tragedies can occur quickly even in just a few inches of water and often without any splashing or screaming. That is why it is imperative that parents, guardians, and other caregivers should never leave children unsupervised near water, not even for a second.”
The CDC notes the primary factors that affect drowning risk are: lack of swimming ability, lack of barriers to prevent unsupervised water access, lack of close supervision while swimming, location, failure to wear life jackets, alcohol use, and seizure disorders.
The following tips are suggested to help keep the little ones safe in and around water:
-Never leave children swimming unattended. Drowning can occur in an inch or two of water;
-Stay within an arm’s length of small children in water to protect against rapid drowning;
-Warn children never to swim in a pool or at a beach alone or without a lifeguard;
-Train children to swim at an early age;
-Teach children that swimming in a pool is far different than swimming in open water;
-Be certain only qualified and undistracted adults are entrusted with supervising children in water;
-Always empty inflatable pools, buckets, pails, and bathtubs after each use; and
-Be aware that personal floatation devices do not guarantee water safety.