Tips for Preventing Drowning
MADISON, Wisconsin (July 9, 2014) – The Wisconsin Medical Journal reports that drowning is the second most common cause of accidental deaths in the state for children between 1 and 18 years old, with motor vehicle crashes first.
The most common place for a drowning to occur for a child between the ages of 1 to 4 years is a home swimming pool. At the same time, bathtubs, toilets and buckets over 5 gallons can be deadly for children from 1-2 years of age.
More than 300 children under 5 years old drown in swimming pools across the country each year. Of these pool-related deaths, approximately 65% occur at the child’s own home. Children often drown silently – without splashing or calling for help – and quickly – in the time it takes to answer a phone call.
Twenty six percent of parents who own a pool or spa report they are not informed about how to keep their pool or spa drain safe for their children.
Here are a few tips from the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin (PIAW) for homeowners who own or are thinking about purchasing a swimming pool:
- Actively supervise your children around water, and keep rescue equipment nearby; most notably, a telephone and any emergency numbers.
- Enroll your child in swimming lessons after age 4. However, it is imperative to always watch children closely while swimming, regardless of their experience level. Flotation devices do NOT count as supervision.
- Teach your children to stay away from pool and spa drains, and if your child has
long hair, be sure to securely tie it up to protect against entanglement within any
- Do not leave toys around the pool when it is not in use. Curious toddlers will be
more tempted to stray toward the pool, increasing the risk of accidental drowning.
- Make sure your pool has four-sided fencing and a self-closing, self-latching gate. Most cities and towns have specific guidelines for you to follow, so be sure to
contact your local building inspector.
“If you have recently purchased a swimming pool, be sure to contact your insurance agent, as the insurance company will need to know about this update,” said Ron Von Haden, CIC, Executive Vice President of PIAW. “While some homeowners’ policies will cover swimming pools, they often have a number of safety procedures homeowners need to follow to be eligible for the coverage.“