Not One More Child Drowns
It’s a familiar story most of us have heard or read about: A toddler somehow slips away from his parent’s watchful eye. Nobody notices the child wandering to the edge of the water, and without a splash or cry for help… It only takes a few minutes for a child to drown or sustain serious, life-altering injuries. A child will lose consciousness approximately 2 minutes after submersion. Irreversible brain damage occurs after 4-6 minutes. Everyday at least 5 children in the U.S. reach the water unsupervised and end up in a potential drowning situation. Of all children who drown, 63% are aged 4 or under. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury and death in the pediatric age group.
Parents can prepare themselves for an emergency by being trained in CPR, and by keeping emergency numbers and a cordless phone within reach. They can prepare by remembering not to underestimate the power of water, remembering that rivers and lakes have undertows. Parents need to remind themselves that lifeguards are not babysitters, to always to use approved flotation devices (life jackets), and not to consume alcohol while operating a boat. They can practice and enforce rules of behavior in or around water to help prevent accidents, but bottom line, there is no substitute for responsible, competent, adult supervision.
Rules such as no running, don’t dive into unknown bodies of water or shallow water, enter the water feet first, don’t push or jump on others in the water, are valuable in helping to prevent a water related accident. It is good practice to always follow these rules and the rules posted as safety precautions when visiting water parks, public pools, and beaches.
At home, to prevent drowning, it is important to have first aid and rescue equipment available in case of emergency. Installing barriers around the pool area with self-latching, and self-closing gates, installing door and pool alarms, securing and locking steps and ladders to above ground pools and emptying above ground pools when not in use, are all great precautionary measures to take with home pools.
Another option for preventing drowning in children is to enroll them in swimming lessons, often developed by organizations such as YMCA and the American Red Cross. It is essential that the lessons be taught by qualified instructors, keeping in mind that lessons don’t make your child “drown-proof.” Infant and toddler aquatic programs provide an opportunity to introduce young children to the joy and risks of being in or around the water. Swimming lessons provide enjoyment for parents and children but were not designed to teach children to become accomplished swimmers or to survive independently in the water. Although, they have not been shown to decrease the risk of drowning, they are unable to ensure that children will understand water hazards, use appropriate avoidance strategies, or attain safety goals.
The last option is infant and toddler aquatic programs that attempt to develop water survival skills. The AAP states that children are generally not developmentally ready for formal swimming lessons until after their fourth birthday. They maintain that aquatic programs for infants and toddlers should not be promoted as a way to decrease the risk of drowning and that parents should not feel secure that their child is safe in water or safe from drowning after participation in such programs. Whenever infants and toddlers are in or around the water, an adult should be within an arm’s length, providing what the AAP calls, “touch supervision.” They also recommend that all aquatic programs include information on the cognitive and motor limitations of infants and toddlers, the inherent risks of water, the strategies for prevention of drowning, and the role of adults in supervising and monitoring the safety of children in and around the water.
Sometimes, everything we do is not enough to keep a child from drowning. Even with alarms, door locks, pool fences, and supervision, children can escape from protective care and find themselves in trouble, whether it is in a pool, pond, lake, or canal. This is where Infant Swimming Resource, the ONLY provider of the safest and most effective aquatic survival skills training, steps in and gives children the skills to survive.
Infant Swimming Resource’s swimming instruction method teaches proven self-rescue skills to young children that enable them to safely enjoy the water. Backed by proven, medically sound and behaviorally based proprietary training methodology that is supported by medical experts nationwide, ISR delivers customized lessons via highly qualified, certified instructors. We are the ONLY provider of the safest and most effective aquatic survival skills training with a forty year history of successfully providing self-rescue skills training to over 160,000 infants and young children.