A is for Adult Supervision
Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in children ages 0 - 4, and the second leading cause for children 5 - 14? Drowning happens quickly and silently. Children under age four can lose consciousness in 30 seconds or less. Almost 80% of children involved in a home-drowning accident had only been missing for five minutes or less when found in the swimming pool.
• Ensure that children near or in the water are always under adult supervision, and that a designated adult is the Water Watcher - with constant eye-to-eye contact.
• Continuous, active, direct line-of-sight supervision by a responsible adult is the best method for preventing water-related deaths and injuries among children.
B is for Barriers
Barriers must be in place between your home and swimming pool or spa. These barriers are layers of protection that can help prevent water-related injuries. Even the best parents find it difficult to watch a child every minute of the day, and barriers can buy you time so you can get to your child before an injury happens.
• Pool barriers should be four-sided fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate that opens outward.
• Make sure that any chairs or toys that can be climbed upon to get over a fence are removed.
• If the home opens directly to the pool, door alarms and locks should be installed.
C is for Classes
Everyone should know how to swim! Children should take swim lessons. The American Academy of Pediatric no longer advises against swimming lessons for children under the age of 4, but does advise against swimming lessons for children under the age of 1.
• If your child is taking swimming lessons at a young age, ensure that the class adheres to guidelines established by the national YMCA, which forbids submersion of young children and encourages parents to participate in all activities.
• Adults should take CPR classes - it could be a lifesaver!
Blythedale Children’s Hospital is the Westchester County coalition leader for the National Safe Kids Campaign. For more information about Blythedale’s injury prevention and safety programs, please contact Lena Cavanna, Director of Community Relations at 914-831-2410. For additional information about summertime safety, visit the Safe Kids USA website at www.safekids.org.
About Blythedale Children’s Hospital
As New York’s only freestanding, specialty children’s hospital, Blythedale Children’s Hospital is dedicated to improving the health status and quality of life of children with complex medical illnesses and disabling conditions through superb multi-disciplinary patient care, teaching, research, and advocacy programs. Blythedale’