Child Drownings Often Happen While Family is Near

Child Drownings Often Happen While Family is Near
For today’s blog, let’s talk about the difficult topic of child drownings. As we’ve often said in the past, drowning is one of the most common causes of death among children under the age of four. To make matters worse, child drownings often happen during family gatherings.

Child Drownings Often Happen During Parties or Gatherings

According to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), 23 percent of child drownings happen during a family gathering near a pool. For parents, guardians, or any relative, this information can be terrifying. How can this happen? How can a child drown when surrounded by loved ones?

Unfortunately, sometimes just having people around isn’t enough. Contrary to what we see in movies, drowning is actually very silent and quick. There is rarely loud thrashing or screaming as a lifeguard dramatically rushes to the rescue. Sure, this will occasionally happen, but more often than not, the victim will become exhausted and quietly slip under the water. It only takes a few moments to drown.

Provide Layers of Protection

Child drownings often happen when people least expect it. To avoid this, it is important to set up numerous layers of security in your home and pool area. For one, the NDPA cites that a lack of barriers around the water contributes to a majority of drowning deaths. Investing in a pool fence is an excellent way to block small children from innocently entering, or accidentally falling into, the water. We have a full post about the value of mesh DIY pool fences that will be helpful for further details.

That said, there are other layers of protection that can be added to the home to help protect against a tragic drowning incident. Here are a few:

  • Install a self-closing self-latching gate. These gates provide an added level of safety in case you leave the gate ajar. It will close and lock behind you.
  • Add an alarm on windows and doors that have access to the pool.
  • Install an additional alarm inside the pool that will let you know if someone enters the water.

Clean the Yard and Eliminate Temptation

Let’s face it, kids are curious. That goes double when water is involved. When hosting a party, try to eliminate temptation by removing any inflatable pool toys or other objects that might lure children near the water. By getting rid of some of the enticing visual stimuli, a child may not even think about going near the pool or hot tub.

Beyond this, make sure every child has had proper swimming lessons. Swimming is a wonderful lifelong skill. It can be fun, and a terrific exercise, but more importantly it can save a person’s life.

If a Child is Missing, Check the Pool!

Child drownings often happen when people have stopped paying attention, even for a moment. In 46 percent of drowning cases with children, the last place the child was seen was inside their house. Keeping this in mind, it is crucial that once a child is discovered to be missing, the first place that should be checked is the water.

You can always check the other places later, but since drowning happens so quickly, the pool should be first priority. There is often no time to waste.