By Amit Jain, MD FAAP MBA | Pediatrician
Swimming is a great way to beat the summer heat here in Arizona and is a fun activity for children to pass the summer by. Drowning is the third most common cause of unintentional – injury related deaths. Among children aged 1-4, drowning stands as the leading cause of unintentional deaths, placing them at the greatest risk. As such, we here at NOAH wanted to share some important water safety tips!
- Never leave children alone, even for a moment, in or near pool areas or other bodies of water (lakes, beaches, and even bathtubs or buckets of water)!
- Install a fence at least 4 feet tall around the pool, which should ideally surround the pool on all 4 sides and completely separated the pool from your home and yard. It should not have any gaps that a small child could slip over, under, or through. The gate should be a self-closing and self-latching gate that cannot be opened / reached by a small child.
- Newer technology offers alarms, both for the gate and within the pool, that can alert you to anyone around the pool.
- When any inexperienced swimmer is around the pool area, make sure there is a designated adult for supervision. This adult should not be under the influence, should not have any distractions (cell phone turned off or handed off to another adult), and preferably knows how to swim and perform CPR.
- Keep rescue equipment such as a shepherd’s hook and a life preserver to reach / throw for rescues.
- Avoid inflatable swim aids such as floaties, as they are not a substitution for proper life-preserving equipment such as life jackets.
- Consider swim lessons for your child if over the age of 1, as it may reduce the risk of drowning. Talk to your NOAH Pediatrician about your child’s developmental readiness to take swim lessons.
- Talk to your pool operator to make sure your pool / spa and its drains are compliant with the pool and spa safety act.
At NOAH, we want to make sure that you have the proper tools, education and resources to protect you and your family while swimming. Most importantly, we hope you have a safe and fun-filled summer!