Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in American children one to four years of age, and the leading cause in Texas, accounting for more than one-fifth of deaths in this age group. Hospitalization rates for near-drowning peak in the toddler age group, with a five times increased risk compared with older children. Infant and toddler drownings tend to occur in or around the home, with infants mostly in bathtubs, and toddlers falling into swimming pools.
Active adult supervision and four-sided pool fencing are the best strategies against drowning in this age group. In particular, pool alarms are not effective and may give parents a false sense of security. However, as we all know, babies and toddlers can get away from you in an instant. Even having a pool fence is not a fool-proof way to keep your child safe. The last line of defense is putting your child in infant swim lessons. If all else fails, the ability of your child to swim to the side, or even to float until someone can get to him, means the difference between survival and death.
Drowning doesn’t always look like a struggle. Typically there is no yelling or arm waving. It is painfully silent. Dr. Graham Snyder, engineer and emergency room physician, says that if adults don’t know what to look for, they can miss the signs. He explains how drowning can look like a game, the child is rhythmically bobbing up and down, until they don’t come up again.
It is surprisingly common for a child to drown when there is a group of people in and around the pool. Imagine being at a pool party with a lot of noise and activity. Adults are distracted with socializing and commotion going on around them. Suddenly you see a child at the bottom of the pool and it’s too late. Nobody noticed him silently going under.
Baby swimming lessons are the best way to protect your child. Even a baby as young as 6 months can learn to get to and maintain a float. For more information on infant swim lessons, go to isrwaterkids.com.