By Kelly Sargent
There’s still enough time to enjoy some warm-weather swimming in ponds, lakes or pools, but here’s a word of warning.
According to a recent report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, drowning is one of the leading causes of death from unintentional injuries in kids ages 1 to 19 . Of those, 75% are boys. Teenage boys 15 to 19 in particular are 10 times more likely to drown than girls.
The AAP report also found that In the specific category of swimming pool deaths, Black children aged 5 to 19 are five-and-a-half more likely to drown than White children.
In very young children, 1 to four, drowning isn’t just a major cause of unintentional-injury related death; it’s the leading cause.
Dr. Linda Quan, pediatric emergency medicine physician at Seattle Children's Hospital, who is the author of the AAP report, emphasized that young children must be supervised at all times when they’re in any kind of water including a bath because they’re not able to prevent themselves from drowning.
Quoted by CNN, Dr. Quan said, “It seems ridiculous, but I've watched my own 2-year-old stumble and sit down in a body of water covering her nose and do nothing to save herself. I had to yank her up to standing."
Unsurprisingly the most child drowning deaths take place between May and August. The riskiest hours are between 4 PM and 6 PM, — that surprised us, during which about half of child drownings occur.
In addition to supervising children at all times when they're in water, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that bath water should be drained immediately after the bath. Infants should never be left unsupervised because bath seats can tip over.
As an additional measure of protection, AAP suggests that parents enroll children in swimming classes beginning at the age of 1. And if you have a pool in your yard, install a fence surrounding it that's at least four feet high and has self-closing gates.
Water can be fun, but it can be dangerous, so keep your eyes on those kids! And as always, if you need us, call us.
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