Drowning Prevention Tips
Drowning is the leading cause of death for Arizona’s children from ages 1-5. Safe Kids Maricopa would like to remind you there is no immunization for drowning and drowning is silent. Keep your child safe by following these simple tips:
- Never leave a child alone while in the bathtub, not even for a second. Infants are most at risk in a bathtub, and can drown in as little as one inch of water. At least one child per year tends to drown in Maricopa County alone. Children must be supervised while bathing, leaving a child in charge of a younger sibling is not acceptable. Many tragedies occur when the child is left alone in the tub for “just a few seconds” while the telephone is being answered or while the parent or adult caretaker is getting a towel. It is very important to immediately empty the bathtub once the bath is finished.
- Close and lock toilet lids. Children have also been known to drown in toilet bowls. A young toddler is inquisitive by nature and is drawn to any body of water, including the toilet bowl. Because of a toddler’s head and body weight distribution, the child that reaches into the toilet and falls in head first may not have the strength to right himself and escape. Safety latches for toilet seats are recommended.
- Empty buckets and other containers and store upside down. It only takes a few inches of water for children to drown. Nationally, about 25 children drown every year in buckets, and many more are hospitalized. Many of the containers involved in drownings nationally were 5-gallon buckets containing liquids. Most were used for mopping floors or other household chores. Many were less than half full.
A young child’s curiosity, along with their crawling and pulling up while learning to walk can lead to danger when buckets are used around the house. Curious children lean forward to play in the water. When they topple into the bucket, they are unable to free themselves and drown.
- Canals are dangerous attraction for children! Don’t let your children play around canals or swim in canals – ever! If you’re walking, or riding bikes as a family, teach them to keep a safe distance from the edge of the canals. Canal sides are extremely slick, making it difficult to get out. Never jump in to rescue pets or objects such as toys. Call 911 for help.
- Never leave a child unsupervised in or around water; always be close enough to touch. If there is several adults in area assign one adult to be watching the children at all times. Keep toys, tricycles, and other children’s play things away from the pool or spa. Don’t allow barriers, such as fences or walls, give you a false sense of security regarding your child’s safety. There is No substitute for adult supervision
- Make sure the entire family knows how to swim. Start swimming lessons at a young age 9 to 12 months, but don’t consider your children to be “drownproof” because they have taken swimming lessons.
- Surround pools and spas with a five-foot high fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate. Check placement of doggie doors for direct access to pool area. Door and windows leading to the pool areas should be locked.
- Keep rescue equipment, a telephone and emergency numbers poolside.
- Water wings, floaties and air-filled toys are not lifesaving devices. US Coast Guard approved lifejackets should be worn in the pool instead. Everyone in the family should wear a lifejacket when boating, near open bodies of water or when participating in water sports.
- Feet first, first time when diving into water.
- Learn and practice CPR and take refresher courses every other year.
If you find a child in any source of water…
Yell for help and pull the child out of the water.
Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately!
Begin CPR if you are trained. If you are not trained to administer CPR,
Follow the instructions from the 9-1-1 operator until help arrives.