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Georgie’s Pool and Water Safety

Drowning Fact Sheet

Drowning accidents are the leading cause of injury/deaths among children under five. A temporary lapse in supervision is a common factor in most drownings and near-drownings. Child drownings can happen in a matter of seconds–in the time it takes to answer the phone. There is often no splashing to warn of trouble. Children can drown in small quantities of water and are at risk in their own homes from wading pools, bathtubs, buckets, diaper pails, and toilets as well as swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs.

Death and Injuries

A swimming pool is 14 times more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of a child age 4 and under. Each year, approximately 1,150 children ages 14 and under drown; more than half are preschoolers (ages 0-4). An estimated 5,000 children ages 14 and under are hospitalized due to near-drownings annually in the United States. Of children surviving near-drownings, 5-20 percent suffer severe and permanent disability.

Where Drownings Happen

Approximately 50 percent of preschooler drownings occur in residential swimming pools. Each year, more than 2,000 preschooler near-drownings occur in residential pools. Of preschooler pool drownings, 65 percent occur in the child’s home pool and 33 percent at the homes of friends, neighbors or relatives. Each year, 350 drownings (for all ages) happen in bathtubs and approximately 40 children drown in five-gallon buckets. In ten states–Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington– drowning surpasses all other causes of death to children ages 14 and under.

How and When Drownings Happen

Of all preschoolers who drown, 70 percent are in the care of one of both parents at the time of the drowning. Of all preschoolers who drown, 75 percent are missing from sight for five minutes or less. Two-thirds of all drownings happen between May and August with 40 percent occurring on Saturdays and Sundays. It is the artificial method of circulating blood and oxygen through a body and attempting to keep the brain alive. CPR does work. When initiated within four minutes, the survival rate is 43 percent. When initiated within four to eight minutes, the survival rate is ten percent.

Why Learn CPR?

One in seven people will have the opportunity to use CPR in their lifetime. Ninety percent of the time, CPR will be done on a family member or close friend. More than 650,000 people die annually from heart attack in the United States each year. More than 350,000 die before reaching the hospital. When the brain starts to go four to six minutes without oxygen, brain damage/death begins. http://www.elcajonfirefighters.org/drownings.htm

 

Statistics on Pediatric Drownings

 

Water-Related Injuries: Fact Sheethttp://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/drown.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at Department of Health and Human Safety Overview

           In 2003, there were 3,306 unintentional fatal drowning’s in the United States. averaging nine people per day. This figure does not include 473 drowning’s in boating-related incidents (CDC 2005).

                   For every child 14 years and younger who dies from drowning, five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

 More than half of these children require hospitalization (CDC 2005). Nonfatal drowning’s can cause brain damage that results in long-term disabilities ranging from memory problems and learning disabilities to the permanent loss of basic functioning (i.e., permanent vegetative state).

 

  • Drowning is the second leading cause of injury death of infants and children younger than 15 in the U.S.

  • Children less than 5 and adolescents between the ages of 15-24 yrs have the highest drowning rates

  • For every child who drowns, four children are hospitalized for near-drowning.

  • One third of near-drowning pediatric victims who are comatose on admission to the hospital will suffer significant neurologic damage

  • The annual cost of care per year in a chronic care facility for an impaired survivor of a near-drowning event is approximately $100,000.

  • The annual lifetime cost attributable to drowning and near-drowning in children less than 15 years of age is $384 million.

  • Children less than 1 year of age most frequently drown in bathtubs and buckets

  • Children between the ages of 1-4 years most often drown in home or apartment swimming pools.  Most of these children drown by entering the pool from their home through the unprotected side of the pool.  In the majority of cases, the children were last seen in the home, but were out of eye contact for only a moment and the immersion was silent (no screams or splashing was heard).

  • Children between 5-19 most often drown in lakes, ponds, rivers and pools.

Children are our precious love ones. You need a “layer system” of protection to injure their safety. Susan Reeves sent me the following information

Security layers of protection ­ (like protecting the President)

1. Childs ability to swim  (Rated on a scale)

2. Device on the child (“Pool Turtles” or  vest)  (Pool turtles are worn
like a wrist watch with an alarm in the house.  When the sensor gets wet –
the alarm sounds. The children wear these every moment they are not in
water, and that includes sleeping with them on.)

3.  Device in the water that detects ripples

4.  Fence layer –  with lock and basic water safety equipment that  consists of a pole, rope and personal flotation device (PFD). A swimming pool should always have this equipment in working condition nearby.

5.  House alarms on doors

6.  Parental Awareness/Sitter education/Visitors -“Pool Master” similar to
lifeguard, does nothing but watch water at a party – can be rotated among
attending adults or a teenager specially hired for the occasion. The poolmaster is needed even when the children are wearing floating devices. While personal flotation devices (PFD) are generally safe, the pool is still a place where children must be supervised. For example, if the device suddenly shifts position, loses air, or slips out from underneath, the child is left in a dangerous situation. A PFD is not a replacement for parental supervision. Never leave a child alone at the poolside

I have also seen security cameras that monitor the pool, and the image
appears in the corner of your computer screen.

 Never leave an infant or small child unattended in the bathroom, even for a few moments.

    • Teach children water and swimming skills as early as possible

    • Take special precautions if you own a pool:
    • Use layers of barrier protection between the child and water to warn and impede. Pool and spa owners can take practical steps to make their pool and spa less dangerous by installing “layers of protection.” These include:

    • Keep enticing objects that might attract a child out of the pool area

    • Drain standing water off spa and pool covers:  children can drown in as little as 2 inches of water!

    • Install a phone poolside with emergency numbers posted and programmed into speed dial.  Also post CPR instructions poolside.
  •  

Joan E writes, My sister had a pool in Melrose Park which my parents had built for their grandchildren.   I would watch 11 of them all by myself!   Both my sister and Henry’s sister worked, so they left their kids with me to watch in addition to our four.  But one of the closest calls we had was when my sister and I were just sitting on the stairs in the her pool talking to each other, and all of a sudden my sister noticed our daughter gurgling under water looking at her, behind my back!  She had taken off her safety belt and jumped in the pool! 

I was very lucky that I learned early on through all  that,  that  DROWNING IS VERY QUIET!  Since then, I have repeated that a million times to my kids and grandchildren and visitors!   In the movies they always show someone sinking, splashing and screaming for help, not so!   I can’t tell you the times we have had guests here, that let their little ones run around and the kids will take off their water wings or tube off, and then they forget to put them back on and then will start to get back in the pool without them.  

What is really scarey is that they assume the kids will know that they can’t go back in the pool without them, but there have been many times I’ve caught the children just climbing back in without their lifesavers!   My own kids knew my rules and made their little ones keep the things on. That is why I always sat sitting in the direction of the large shallow kid’s end of the pool  and talked to people without looking at them but kept my eyes on the children.  Otherwise I was in the pool sitting and watching them.  It always shocked me how easily people can forget about their little non-swimmers and be talking and looking away.  I was so happy when my last of 14 grandchildren learned how to swim!   I taught them all myself.  It was quite an accomplishment, especialy since one grandson is a handicapped child but now is a great deep water swimmer!   He loves the pool and even though he doesn’t talk much, he understood me enough to learn how to swim.  I think I got them all swimming by 4 or less. 

       

I figured out a great method that worked so well.  I would put a toy on the stairs under the water and ask them to get it.  Then I put it on the next lower stair and they had to get it. I went down the stairs, and they eventually had to learn to put their faces in the water, and even open their eyes to look for it, especially because sometimes I would move it on them.  THEN, finally I would get the toy on the bottom step and next  the floor.  Then their little rear ends would bob up trying to get down there for the toy. They found out they had to paddle and fight to get down to the bottom stair or floor, and that they didn’t just fall or sink to the bottom.  And that taught them to hold their breath and keep their mouths shut.  SO, then I moved the item a few feet in front of them away from the stairs,  and they really had to use their arms and kick to get down there, and lo and behold, they were actually swimming!   Then the farther away the item was, they naturally were diving down to get it!   If you have any other little ones who still aren’t swimming, try this method.  It won’t happen in one lesson, but it will pretty quickly!  

The swimming motion actually comes very naturally.  The key is they have to learn to hold their breath when they put their faces under water and open their eyes.  Once they learn that, you are half way there!  Your little George must have breathed in some water.  It doesn’t take much, my friend lost a 3 year old who was sitting on a potty chair on the toilet while the tub was just beginning to be filled.  She went to answer the door for the grocery delivery and he got off the toilet and dropped his bear into the tub and fell in after it and was gone by the time she got back upstairs and there wasn’t must water in the tub yet.!

Learn CPR! (Hotlink to American Red Cross)

In the event of a drowning–
Remove the victim from the water, have someone call  9-1-1 or your local emergency number. Check consciousness and breathing.

If the victim is not breathing, open the airway and attempt
rescue breathing.If breaths do not go in, re-tilt the head and attempt rescue breathing again. If air still does not go in, give abdominal thrusts (Heimlich maneuver) for children and adults to clear the airway.

Once the airway is clear, provide rescue breathing or CPR as needed.

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