Children are at a high risk for drowning accidents, as one in five drowning victims is under the age of 14. Additionally, children aged one to four years have the highest rate of drowning than any other age group, and drowning is the number one injury-related cause of death for small children.
Parents should always be aware of the high risk of drowning–especially for very young children–and should always take precautionary steps to keep their children safe in or around any type of water, no matter how shallow the water may be. The following are some safety tips for preventing drowning accidents in different types of water environments.
Residential pools or hot tubs
Many homes have pools or spas, which can be entertaining for the whole family. If you have a pool at your home with children, there are many safety steps you must take.
- Avoid unsupervised access to the pool — Have a fence with a self-locking gate around your pool or spa, consider installing an alarm on doors leading out to the pool or spa, and have safety covers over the water when not in use.
- Provide swimming lessons — Children who are often around a pool should learn to swim as soon as possible, though should always still be supervised.
- Be prepared for an emergency — Always have a designated adult watching the pool, ready with a safety ring and phone in case of an emergency.
Swimming in lakes, rivers, and the ocean can all be fun for your family. However, you should always do the following to keep children safe:
- Always supervise — Never let children swim in natural waters without appropriate supervision. Make sure supervising adults are sober and paying attention.
- Keep proper safety devices — Always insist that children wear life jackets when they are in deep water, on a dock near the water, or on a boat.
- Don’t wander too far out — If you are in a public swimming area, make sure you follow all safety signs and remain within designated swimming areas.
In the home
Many people are not aware enough of the dangers of drowning inside their own home. Small children can drown in only one inch of water, therefore parents should always be vigilant around any water sources inside the house.
- Always watch during bath time — A child should never, under any circumstances, be left in a bathtub alone when there is water present.
- Child-proof the bathroom door — When you are not looking, a child may wander into the bathroom and begin running the water or could fall head-first into the toilet. You should have a child-safe latch on bathroom doors and always keep toilet lids closed.
- Be aware of buckets — Never allow buckets filled with water to remain in or around the house where a child may fall in.
These are, of course, only a few tips for keeping your children safe around water. If your child is involved in a drowning accident at the fault of another party, the experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC are here to help.