Now is the perfect time to talk with your patients and their families about drowning prevention. Drowning is a leading cause of injury-related death in children. In 2017, drowning claimed the lives of almost 1000 US children younger than 20 years. A number of strategies are available to prevent these tragedies. As educators and advocates, pediatricians can play an important role in the prevention of drowning.
It only takes a moment, and an inch of water, for a child to drown. Drowning can occur at any time, but incidence increases during the summer months. This time of year, it is important to promote and practice water safety. The AAP released a Prevention of Drowning Policy Statement in 2019 and offers resources for pediatricians including brochures, infographics, and other resources as part of their Drowning Prevention Toolkit. One resource is a brochure titled: A Parent's Guide to Water Safety which provides information on water safety in bathtubs, pools, and open water. AAP also has drowning prevention guidance for toddlers, infants, and teens as well as info sheets on swim lessons and pool dangers.
Safe Kids: Water Safety
7 Water Safety Tips for Parents
Preventing Unsupervised Access to Water
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services: Watch Kids Around Water