Drowning is a tragic situation that often strikes young children. Earlier this month, a 14-month-old girl drowned in her family’s pool in Collier County. The girl’s mother found her floating on the surface of the pool. It was the first drowning death of a child in Collier County since 2011. While the final determination of cause of death has not yet been made by investigators, the tragedy once again raises the importance of pool safety, particularly when young children are involved.
The head of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance in Fort Lauderdale reiterated the measures that should be taken to protect children. Pool safety is largely about having layers of protection in place. Pools should be secured with a pool fence. Door alarms should be installed to inform parents when someone enters the pool area. Parents and others who are old enough should learn CPR. Finally, children who will be exposed to open water, including swimming pools, should be enrolled in water safety classes.
Some groups are pushing to have water safety be addressed during wellness checkups for children. Doctors can discuss the issue with parents and provide literature informing parents of proper water safety protocols. Such measures could help prevent a tragic outcome.
Drowning prevention experts have generally changed the message of water safety. It may not be possible to eliminate any chance of drowning. That does not mean that parents and guardians should not do more to improve safety. Many drowning deaths would be prevented every year if all pool owners followed guidelines concerning pool safety.
Source: Naples Daily News, “Toddler drowning death in Estates first in over a year,” by Jessica Lipscomb, 11 January 2013