Keep Your Children Safe in the Pool or Lake This Summer

(Little Rock)– The Arkansas Department of Health is reminding parents of the danger that is present when young children are around swimming pools, lakes and streams. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning is the sixth leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages, and the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14 years.”

William Mason, MD, branch chief, Preparedness and Emergency Response branch, said, “The drowning of a young child is a terrible tragedy that can be avoided. Parents are encouraged to be on-guard constantly when their children are near water. Even something as innocent looking as a small blow-up pool in the backyard has the potential for drowning.”

According to the CDC, most young children who drowned in home pools were last seen five minutes before the drowning took place. Fencing around a home pool is recommended when young children are in the area. There is an 83% reduction in drowning when the pool is fenced.

The CDC also recommends swimming lessons for all young children. African Americans report the greatest lack of swimming skills.

How can drowning be prevented?

Learn how to swim

Always swim with a buddy

Supervise young children around water

Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

Do not use air-filled or foam toys as flotation devices. These toys are not designed to protect someone from drowning.

Avoid alcohol before or during swimming

Have four-sided fencing around a home pool

Clear the pool and deck of toys so that children are not tempted to enter the pool without an adult present

For more information about safe swimming and pool safety, click on the CDC’s Water-Related Injuries Facts section of the CDC website at .