Pediatricians are sounding the alarm that kids may be at an increased risk of drowning during the coronavirus pandemic.  Public pools may be closed so families may be swimming in places without life guards.  Parents are trying to work with children at home making it a little easier for kids to slip into the family pool or even a backyard wading pool unnoticed.  Curious kids + multi-tasking adults + summer heat + water = increased risk of drowning.

Ali Griffin, one of our Nurse Practitioners, offers these great tips to help keep everyone safe around water this summer.  

Sunshine, popsicles, cookouts and pool parties…. are all part of a fun summer, however, outdoor time comes with its own set of safety concerns.

In the US, the leading cause of death for kids age 1-4 years is accidental drowning.  Unfortunately, Florida outranks all other states for childhood drownings which often happen right at home.  The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) suggests many tips for parents to help lessen the risks:

  • “Water watcher”: Provide close supervision by a designated responsible adult who is not distracted or influenced by alcohol or drugs.
  • Touch supervision: The responsible adult (preferably who knows CPR and can swim) should be within arm’s length of any inexperienced swimmers.
  • Barriers: Use pool gates, door alarms, window guards, and a fence that is at least 4 feet high around the pool, with rescue equipment readily available (such as life preserver or shepherd’s hook).
  • Swim lessons: Formal lessons can decrease odds of childhood drowning by 88%! However, do not have a false sense of security, these children still need supervision.
  • Never swim alone: Everyone should have a swim buddy, even great swimmers.
  • Open water: Only swim in oceans when a lifeguard is on duty and avoid fast moving water such as canals. Everyone should wear a life jacket while boating or on docks and be sure it is the right size and all straps are belted.