May is National Drowning Prevention Awareness Month

Updated: May 21

In recognition of May being National Drowning Prevention Awareness Month, I would like to share some tips and facts. With this in mind, please be prepared and learn CPR.

  • keep a phone at poolside so that you never have to leave the area to answer the phone, and can call for help if needed.

  • drownings happen during a family gathering near a pool

  • drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury related death for children ages 1-4. Drowning remains in the top 5 causes of unintentional injury related death from birth to 54 years old

  • in the United States, drowning takes an average of 3,500-4,000 lives per year. That is an average of 10 fatal drownings per day

  • 23% of child drownings happen during a family gathering near a pool

  • learning to swim can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% for 1-4 year olds who take formal swim lessons

  • lack of barriers around water contribute to a majority of drowning deaths

  • drug and alcohol use can be large contributing variables to drowning risk

  • drowning is fast and silent. It can happen in as little as 20-60 seconds. Drowning doesn't always look like what we expect

  • remove toys from in and around the pool when not in use

  • learn CPR and rescue breathing

  • designate a "water watcher" to maintain constant watch over children in the pool during gatherings

  • don't use floating chlorine dispensers that look like toys

  • the home should be isolated from the pool with a fence at least 60" tall, with a self-closing, self-latching gate. The gate should open away from the pool, and should never be propped open

  • drowning is the cause of death for most boating fatalities

  • doors and windows should be armed to alert adults when opened. Doors should be self closing

  • if a child is missing, always check the pool first. Seconds count!

  • instruct babysitters about potential pool hazards and emphasize the need for constant supervision