Let’s talk about water watching responsibilities. Water safety is a crucial topic that cannot be stressed enough. Unfortunately, drowning incidents continue to occur, and it's alarming to know that a significant number of cases involve young children.
9 Out of 10 Drownings Happen When a Child is Being Watched
A report from AAP says that 90% of drowning deaths occur while children were under supervision at the time. According to statistics, 68% of children who drowned were known to be near the water, yet still succumbed to this tragic fate.
Children aged one to four have the highest drowning rates. Most drownings of children in this age range happen in swimming pools. This is eye-opening data that highlights the importance of taking proactive measures to prevent such incidents from happening.
The CDC reports that every year in the United States, there is an estimated:
- 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings—an average of 11 drowning deaths per day
- 8,000 nonfatal drownings—an average of 22 nonfatal drownings per day
Water Watcher Responsibilities
It's easy to assume that children will be safe if they are near a pool or any body of water, especially if they are not swimming, so long as there is an adult present. However, drowning incidents can happen in seconds, and they can be silent. That's why it's essential to never allow young children to be in the pool area unsupervised. Active adult supervision is crucial, and a designated Water Watcher should always be present to keep a close eye on the children.
An active supervisor, or water watcher, is a designated person who has the sole responsibility of actively supervising the children without any distractions. This means that Water Watcher responsibilities include avoiding distractions that can prevent them from remaining focused on the job at hand.
In short, this means that the watcher should never engage in any activities that can divert their attention from the kids who are in or near the pool. These distractions include checking their phone, reading a book, or talking to other adults.
Don’t Forget the Pool Fence
It's important to note that a Water Watcher should not be a substitute for proper fencing and other safety measures. However, having a Water Watcher is an extra layer of protection that can help to prevent drowning incidents. The American Red Cross recommends that Water Watchers rotate every 15 minutes. This helps to avoid fatigue and ensure that the children are always supervised.
Aside from having a designated Water Watcher, there are other water safety practices that parents and caregivers should implement to keep children safe.
Here are some tips:
- Swimming lessons can help children to learn essential water skills, such as floating, treading water, and proper breathing techniques.
- Children should be taught basic water safety rules. These can include
- no running near the pool,
- no diving in shallow water,
- and no swimming alone.
- Parents and caregivers should learn CPR and basic water rescue techniques in case of emergencies.