Texas Leads the way US in Child Drownings
Nearly every homeowner with a backyard pool appreciates having one during the quarantine. And many of those wanting to install a new pool are still waiting after a surge in backyard pool sales brought on by the pandemic quarantine as Americans have shifted spending habits during 2020.
But there’s a downside to the sunshine and splashing: Sadly, Texas recently led the US in accidental child drownings during the pandemic. According to a recent Fox News report, it only takes 20 to 60 seconds for a drowning to occur. Tragic stories about children wandering into the water and being found dead are increasing.
According to the Red Cross, 69% of child drownings occur when children are not expected to be near water in the first place. So to prevent over ⅔ of deaths, preventing unsupervised access to the pool is top priority. But such a simple goal presents a complex challenge.
Consider physical pool safety equipment:
Fences and Gates must be meticulously inspected, maintained, and used correctly.
Covers must be in good repair and up to modern safety standards.
Inspect pool drains and covers to prevent underwater entrapment.
Install and maintain alarms to alert those at home and nearby that someone has entered the pool area.
The CDC says to treat drowning prevention as a health priority
Build your child’s swimming skills and talk about the risk of drowning.
Learn CPR because seconds count while waiting in an ambulance.
Actively supervise. Assign swim buddies and water watchers. Flotation devices, water toys, alcohol, and cell phone shave each played a role in child drownings where adults were present because these items can cause an adult to let their guard down and not be fully attentive to the child.
For more pool safety tips, Parents magazine offers advice on how to talk to your children about drowning. And of course, the Red Cross offers comprehensive water safety resources for parents of children using backyard pools and spas, as well as visiting lakes and other bodies of water.
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