Water safety and drowning
Staying Safe in and Around Water
Drowning is a leading cause of death among people of all ages. Learning and practicing water safety is important to prevent drowning accidents.
Water safety tips for all ages include:
DO NOT drink alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. DO NOT drink alcohol while supervising children around water.
When boating, know local weather conditions and forecasts. Watch for dangerous waves and rip currents.
Children and Water Safety
Put a fence around all home swimming pools.
When leaving the pool, put away all toys from the pool and deck. This helps remove temptation for children to enter the pool area.
At least one responsible adult should supervise young children when they swim or play in or around water.
Teach your children to swim. But understand that this alone will not prevent young children from drowning. Air-filled or foam toys (wings, noodles, and inner tubes) are not a replacement for life jackets when boating or when your child is in open water.
Prevent drowning around the home:
American Academy of Pediatrics. Healthychildren.org website. Water safety: tips for parents of young children. healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Water-Safety-And-Young-Children.aspx. Updated November 21, 2015. Accessed October 6, 2017.
Caglar D, Quan L. Drowning and submersion injury. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 74.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Home and recreational safety: unintentional drowning: get the facts. www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html. Updated April 28, 2016. Accessed October 6, 2017.
Review Date: 9/5/2017
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 03-19-18.
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