Swimming provides massive benefits for kids, which include enhancing their strength and flexibility, increasing stamina and improving posture and balance. More importantly, swimming keeps your child’s heart and lungs in tip-top shape. Sadly, drowning ranks second in the causes of injury-related deaths, for children aged between one and fourteen years. Drowning is the process in which the lungs become filled with a liquid, making it impossible for a victim to breathe or absorb oxygen.
The Dangers of Drowning
The majority of parents who build residential pools have no idea how grave the problem of kids drowning in pools is. In the most fatal cases, children who drown end up dead as a result of suffocation. In cases where the child survives, a series of complications is likely to crop up. For instance, a child may be diagnosed with pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), conditions caused by severe lung tissue damage, which occurs when water is aspirated into the lungs. Another prime danger of drowning is brain damage, which may lead to mental health conditions. The brain damage is caused by oxygen deficiency.
Drowning is consistently the top cause of accident related demises for children under the age of five years. According to research, more than 300 children below five years drown in residential swimming pools annually. Amongst all the age groups, kids aged 1-4 have the highest drowning death rate. With such alarming evidence from statistics, it is vital to know the causes of drowning cases so as to protect your child.
Common Causes of Drowning
The most common causes of kids drowning cases include:
Lack of swimming ability- Many children drown because they have never attended any swimming lessons.
Lacks of barriers- Constructing barriers like fencing, prevent toddlers and young kids from accessing swimming pools and beaches without caregivers’ awareness.
The absence of supervision- Drowning can occur quickly and quietly as long as a child is not carefully monitored.
Steps Parents can take to Prevent Drowning
Provide Constant Supervision
The newborn infants and children through four years of age should never be left alone when in or near bathtubs, spas, wading pools, irrigation ditches or other open bodies of water. With such toddlers, ensure that there’s an adult at arm’s length, giving full attention to the child when he or she is swimming. The supervisor should not be participating in other distracting activities like talking on a phone, socializing or tending to household chores.
Have an Emergency Action Plan
If your child delights in swimming, you should have a contingency strategy in case of any drowning accidents. For instance, you ought to learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), a lifesaving technique used on victims who find it difficult to breathe after drowning incidents. It involves chest compressions and giving rescue breaths, which keep the blood and oxygen in normal circulation patterns. If your child drowns, your CPR skills could save his life. Besides learning CPR, you should have a First Aid kit containing relevant aid tools.
Install Pool Fencing
If you have a residential swimming pool, consider building a four-sided fence around the pool. It should be no less than four feet in height. The fencing helps to separate the pool area from the yard and house. Moreover, use Self-closing and self-latching gates, which should be out of reach of children.
Take Children for Swimming Lessons
Parents have the obligation to take their kids for swimming lessons. If they aren’t swimmers themselves, then they should hire professional swimming trainers to train their children. It also helps to get a swimming buddy for your child. This way, your child will never go swimming alone.
Remove Toys from Pool Area
Clear the pool and its surrounding area of balls, floats, and other kids’ toys. Doing this prevents your child from being tempted to enter the pool area unsupervised.
Furthermore, caregivers should have alarms installed near the pool area. They will alert you whenever your child tries to access the swimming pool.
If your child is a novice swimmer, there are vital buoyancy gear and swimming equipment that can help to prevent drowning incidents.
The rubber rings are usually inflated so as to provide support. These ensure that your child keeps his head above the water. When purchasing a rubber ring, you should buy the correct size for your child. This particular equipment is not ideal for very young children due to the risk of being too small for the ring.
The baby floats are meant for toddlers to sit in and enjoy the pool waters safely. Like the rubber rings, they are inflatable, and they integrate an area for a child’s legs to go through. The only precaution with this tool is to prevent your toddler from leaning too forward as the float could topple over.
It is a sleeveless and buoyant jacket, which keeps your child afloat in water. Most life jackets have whistles attached so as to make it easier to be located in a rescue mission. If your kid is not an experienced swimmer, have him wear a life jacket anytime he heads to the pool.
Staying Safe and Happy on the Beach
Taking your kids to the beach sounds fun, but it could also be a recipe for tragedy. Below, are some swimming safety tips for your baby.
Only permit your child to swim near a lifeguard- There are lots of guarded beaches found along the shore, so stick those for swimming.
Do not allow your child to swim in large waves- Contrary to the tranquil waters of a swimming pool; the beach poses potential dangers such as current and tides. Once you arrive at the beach, inquire about the water conditions from the nearby lifeguard.
Teach your child not to stand with his back facing the water- Strong waves can knock them over unexpectedly.
Swimming is the perfect recreational activity for kids. Nonetheless, parents and caregivers should employ particular precautions to shun drowning ordeals. These measures are installing pool alarms, erecting fencing around pool areas, supervising, and buying the necessary swimming gear for their children.