Vigilance Key to Preventing Child Drownings

by Scott Luedeman, Division Chief-Professional Services, Prescott Fire Department

With the warm temperatures and families spending more time outdoors, your Prescott Fire Department would like to remind you to watch your kids around water. There are plenty of hazards to look out for, but one that happens far too often is accidental drowning.

According to the CDC, in the United States, drownings are a leading cause of injury and death for young children ages 1 to 14, and three children die every day as a result of drowning. In fact, drowning kills more children ages 1-4 than anything else except birth defects. 

Often we think of drownings only happening at pools, and because Prescott has few household pools, we become complacent of the drowning dangers in our area. Children can drown in bathtubs, buckets of standing water, lakes, ponds and creeks as well. 

Here are some helpful tips related to water safety around any water source:

  • Adult supervision is key in the prevention of drowning.
  • Maintain constant visual supervision of children in and around the swimming pool and open bodies of water.
  • Assign an adult to supervise children around the pool, especially at parties. 
  • Learn CPR. You can reach out to your local fire department for information about CPR classes. 
  • Enroll your child in a swim class if they do not know how to swim. 
  • If you have a pool, ensure barrier fencing is installed and all gates and latches are self-closing, self-latching and operational. 
  • Make sure children wear life jackets in and around natural bodies of water, such as lakes or streams, even if they know how to swim. Life jackets can be used in and around pools for weaker swimmers, too.
  • Supervise your child in bathtubs and immediately drain the tub when the bath is over. 
  • Empty buckets and other containers used around the house immediately after use. 
  • When small children are in the house, close all toilet seat lids when not in use. 

Remember, it only takes a second for a drowning to occur. Please do your part to prevent drowning around your home.