Elizabeth Adams

By

College: Medicine

As the Season for Water Activity Heats Up, Protect Young Swimmers Against Drowning

Published: May 20, 2014

This column first appeared in the May 18 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 20, 2014) -- Many Kentuckians will commemorate the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend by splashing into a pool, boating on a lake or canoeing down a stream. As the season for recreational water activity gets under way, it's important to remember steps to keep children and adolescents safe.

 

Children and adolescents are at risk

Every year in Kentucky, an average of 14 children die by drowning. About half the drowning deaths occur among children ages 1 to 4. From 2009-11, 80 percent of childhood drowning deaths occurred at the child’s residence or someone else’s home. A quarter of drowning deaths occurred among adolescents, mostly while swimming, boating or fishing on lakes and rivers.

     

Supervise young children around water

Prevention of toddler and child drowning requires constant supervision around all types of water, including car-washing buckets, bathtubs, baby pools, ornamental ponds, swift-flowing creeks, pools and larger bodies of water. Toddlers can fall in and drown even in just a few inches of standing water in a bucket, so it's important to empty baby pools immediately after use.

 

Because drowning can happen swiftly and silently, a responsible adult or "water watcher" should actively supervise children at all times, even if lifeguards are present. They should be within arms-reach of toddlers and children who cannot swim. Floaties and waterwings are not sufficient life-saving devices. U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vests for the appropriate weight are needed, with supervision still needed.

 

Create barriers to water sources

Four-sided, 4-foot high fencing and a self-closing gate prevent your children and neighborhood children from falling into a backyard pool. Removing a ladder might be helpful for above-ground pools that are not fenced.

 

Teach children how to swim

Swimming lessons don’t ever replace supervision, but are a life-saving skill that should be learned The YMCA, Red Cross and university swim programs all offer lessons.

 

Wear a life-jacket on the water

While boating, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets should be worn at all times by all boaters for the best protection. As water distances can be deceptive when swimming, it's also important to remind teen swimmers of the dangers of fatigue. Never swim without a buddy and always remember that alcohol and boating never mix.

 

Recreational water activity is a great way to incorporate exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle for all ages. A bit of prevention will keep your water fun safe.

 

Dr. Susan Pollack is the director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Injury Prevention Program at the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center and a pediatrician at Kentucky Children's Hospital.

pollack-susan-h.jpg
September
 
 
 
 
1
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
LGBTQ* and Friends Employee Picnic
Thu
2
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Fri
3
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Sat
4
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Sun
5
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
6
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
Tue
7
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
UK Women's Club Volleyball - Open Gym
From The Streets to The Stage With Monti Washington
Wed
8
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
#IAMACCEPTANCE Let's Talk Mental Health with Hakeem Rahim
Thu
9
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
2016 New Chinese Students Welcome Party
Accounting Internship & Career Fair
Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training
Fri
10
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
11
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Whipping In The Kitchen
Sun
12
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Mon
13
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
UKWC Welcome Coffee
Tue
14
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Greek Park Pictures
Wed
15
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
Thu
16
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
A Day of Rising Strong
Fri
17
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
18
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sun
19
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Mon
20
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
UK Women's Forum Board Meeting
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn - Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
Cuban Heritage Festival
Tue
21
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Last Day to Withdraw to Receive 50% Refund
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Horticulture Club Farm Market Sale
Wed
22
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
TGIT with SAB
Thu
23
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Fri
24
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Sat
25
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Sun
26
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Let's Talk!
Empower: People of Color Support Group
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Mon
27
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
UK Engineering and Computer Science Career Fair
Banned Books--A short history
Tue
28
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Horticulture Club Farm Market Sale
Cats Got The Vote
Business Internship & Career Fair
Women In Technology Gala event for UK undergraduate women
NSE (National Student Exchange) Information Session
Wed
29
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
FIFA Tournament
Let's Talk!
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
Yoga at Commonwealth Stadium
Thu
30
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Indonesia Focus Conference
Indonesia Focus Conference
Craft Writing: Beer, the Digital, and Craft Culture
Fri
 
Sep 28
Let's Talk! 09/28/2016

Repeats every 7 days until Thu Dec 15 2016 .
Thu, 09/29/2016

Thu, 09/29/2016

Fri, 09/30/2016

Reset Page