Summer time Means More Swimming, Increased Drowning Risks at Pools

poolA Jacksonville area family is grieving the recent drowning death of their two year old child. The little boy perished after going unnoticed into the  pool at Kiddie Heaven Daycare in Jacksonville, Florida.   I assume his family is seeking answers about why he was not observed by the daycare providers.
Drowning is not among the most common daycare injuries.  Broken bones, lacerations, and even sunburn become more common as the summer goes on. Though a drowning at daycare is a rare occurrence, this incident works as a reminder about the dangers of children around water. Pool related accidents are one of the leading causes of death and injuries to children. As often as the reminders go out from officials and news organizations, the summer always proves to be deadly time for children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the U.S., with 10 people losing their lives to unintentional drowning every day.  About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Why is this statistic so high? Researchers believe it’s due to lack of swimming ability, lack of barriers, lack of close supervision, and location – to name a few.
The good news is, most of these things can easily be prevented. Here are 5 tips to help you and your family stay safe in the water:
-Supervise when in or around water. Designate a responsible adult to watch young children around the pool. Designate one or two people to be in charge of watching the kids. If one of them needs a break, tag team and take turns. Regardless, at least one person needs to be responsible for watching the children swimming. That person should always be within touching distance of the children and should never be distracted or multitasking by reading, playing cards, or even talking on the phone.
– Learn CPR.   CPR performed by bystanders has been shown to save lives and improve outcomes in drowning victims. The more quickly CPR is started, the better the chance of improved outcomes
-Learn to swim. This tip can be a scary one, but teaching your child how to swim is the best thing you can do in case of emergency. Now, there should still be an adult in charge of watching children, but giving your child the tools to be comfortable in the water and know what to do if they fall in can be lifesaving.
-Install barriers in your home. Have child safety locks on your doors, lock any doggy doors, install an alarm whenever a door is opened, have a locked fence around your pool. Have as many obstacles in place as possible so that a child cannot reach a pool.
-Remove anything that may entice a child to go near the pool. When you’re not using the pool, clear the pool and deck of any toys, floating devices, balls, etc… so that a child does not see something they want and try to go after it.
If a child has been harmed due to the lack of safety devices installed in a  day care, the parent or guardian can contact a personal injury attorney at Edwards & Ragtz for advice, consultation, and legal representation.  We will be able to evaluate the merits of the case and advise you accordingly.