Nearly 1000 infants drown every year and 50% of all childhood deaths are happening in pools. Along with pediatrics, experts from CDC, and USA Swimming Foundation we are ready to share the advice that will save lives.
New York, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/22/2022 --One day in April 2019 was just another sunny day in Florida, lots of tourists with children having fun in the hotel pool. Suddenly, kids started calling out for help; no one understood what was happening until someone noticed a motionless child laying face down in the water holding a floaty on the right hand. Emilie was just 2 years old. Numerous parents attempt to save Emilie. The despair they experienced after realizing their helplessness will be in the memory of each witness.
When pool swimming season is in full swing, it is worth raising such an important topic as children drowning. ByRossi team has dug deep into this topic to get to the root of the problems and come up with effective solutions. Based on the information provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the USA Swimming Foundation, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the key mistakes that parents make regarding pool safety were identified as well as ways to prevent them.
Drowning is a silent matter that takes fewer than 60 seconds. In 2020, the number of infant drownings increased by 60% compared to 2019; this increase was due to the pandemic as parents bought home pools but forgot about teaching safety awareness. More than 50% of all children's drownings take place in the pools. The key point is most drownings can be easily prevented.
Fatal mistakes most parents make & how to avoid them
Undoubtedly all the parents want only the best for their children but some minor (at the first glance) moments can lead to injuries and even deaths in a pool. Statistics show the main risk factors:
1. Lack of swimming lessons.
How to avoid: Simply give a child swimming lessons. The primary mission of each and every parent is to teach their children to live (and survive) in this world on their own. So, such a skill as swimming is essential.
It's high time to debunk myths. Until 2010, it was a widely held thought that a child's first swimming lesson could be given when the child has reached the age of 4. However, the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) research claims that children can safely be given swimming lessons as soon as they are 1 year old. The study shows there has been a significant reduction of infant deaths (ages 0 to 4) due to drowning if children are given swimming lessons. Simple swimming lessons reduced the number of drownings by 88%.
2. Lack of physical barriers between child and water.
How to avoid: Install a barrier. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommendations, each and every pool should have a barrier and/or a four-sided isolation fencing, especially if your child is in the age group of 0-4 as this age group is most prone to drowning.
"From my experience, 95% of parents with children forget about pool barriers when buying a pool. Unfortunately, there are no pools with a built-in child safety system, so you need to buy them additionally. I highly recommend taking fences or gates instead of safety covers since they will never pierce or slip." — advises Peter Emmanuel Rossi, hot tub designer, ex-top manager at Jacuzzi Group, and founder of ByRossi.
3. Absence (or inadequate) supervision.
How to avoid: Follow the following advice regarding the number of adults needed to adequately supervise children of a certain age. For infants under 5 years, there should be 1 adult to 1 child; in the age of 5-8 years — 1 adult to 2 children; children in the age group of 8-15 years don't require constant supervision if they are competent swimmers.
Stay within arms reach to the child, especially if the child is in the age group of 0-4 years. Don't be distracted by other activities like reading or texting while the child is in the pool.
4. Lack of safety awareness on the water.
How to avoid: Model safe behavior in the pool. A great way to do this for small children is by explaining safety rules in the form of a story or in the form of a game with printable activity pages. Make sure the child understands that they can enter the water only with an adults' permission and they should always stay in the designated area. Give your child the rules for the basic "don'ts" in the pool:
- Don't dive in the shallow end
- Don't push other people into the water
- Don't pull other people underwater
5. Using floaties.
How to avoid: Replace floaties with life jackets. Popular "floaties" don't provide real safety compared to life jackets. Young children cognitively cannot decide when they should have floaties on and when not; floaties can easily slip off or a child may take them off when they get out of the pool and forget to put them on back. A life jacket is less likely to slip off, and it is more difficult for a child to take off than floaties.
In case of emergency: 6 steps to save a child
Sometimes it just happens, you can't supervise everything. In such situations, it is crucial to minimize the panic and know what to do from A to Z.
In movies, you've probably seen what drowning looks like. Splashes, waves, and yelling, but in real life, drowning is silent and quick. It is difficult for a child to make a sound let alone scream for help; the body's primary goal is to get as much oxygen as possible to survive. However, there are still some signs that the child is drowning:
- Unsuccessfully trying to swim
- Rolling over onto the back
- Near to vertical body position with a minor leg movement
- The mouth is at the water level
If you notice a child is drowning follow the instructions below to save their life:
1. Get the child out of the pool as soon as possible.
2. Ask people around to call 911 or if you are alone follow the next 2 steps below and then call 911.
3. Check whether the child is breathing by placing your ear to their nose and mouth.
4. Start rescue breathing if you haven't noticed any signs of breathing:
- Place the child on a hard surface;
- Tilt the head of a child back, lift the chin, and open jaw;
- If you are rescuing an infant (0-1 year) then press your mouth over the nose and mouth; if you are rescuing a child (over 1 year) then pinch the nose and put your mouth over a child's mouth.
- Blow air into a child for 1 second. The sign you are doing everything right is noticing the child's chest rise.
- Repeat blowing one more time.
5. Start chest compression
The process is the same for both infants and older children with the only difference being with infants, you should put 2 fingers on their breastbone, and with older children use the heel of one hand on the chest center and follow the instructions:
- Start pressing down
- Do 30 chest compressions
6. Repeat. After 30 compressions give the child 2 breaths, continue until the child starts breathing.
The statistics about children drowning are just crazy especially since the pandemic started. It is crucial to prevent any accidents by teaching water safety rules and swimming, establishing barriers to the pool, and providing constant supervision by adults so as not to turn fun into a tragedy.
About Peter Rossi
Peter Rossi is a professional hot tub designer with over 10 years of experience at Jacuzzi Group and founder of ByRossi. Peter's mission is to share his knowledge and make hot tub owners' experiences smooth and trouble-free.