As the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches, marking the unofficial end of summer, many of you will participate in water fun activities.
The ER Extra physicians and staff at Sandhills Regional Medical Center want to remind you to keep your guard up when it comes to water safety for your children.
Although most drownings occur in residential swimming pools, children can drown in just one inch of water (such as in buckets, bath tubs, wading pools, diaper pails, toilets, hot tubs and spas).
In addition, open waters such as oceans, rivers, and lakes pose a drowning threat to older children. The majority of children who survive being submerged in water without brain damage are discovered within two minutes, and most who die are found after 10 minutes, said Dr. John Keku, emergency room medical director at Sandhills Regional Medical Center.
Sandhills Regional’s ER Extra staff advises parents to take the following preventive steps to protect their children from drowning:
Never leave your child unsupervised near water at or in the home, or around any body of water, including a swimming pool;
Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and infant and child first-aid;
Do not rely on personal flotation devices (PFDs) or swimming lessons to protect your child;
Install child-proof fencing around swimming pools;
Make sure you have rescue equipment, a telephone, and emergency phone numbers near the swimming pool;
Insist that your child wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device on boats at all times. Inflatable swimming devices, such as “water wings,” rafts, toys and other items, are not considered safe and should not be relied on to prevent drowning ; and
Do not allow children to dive in waters less than nine feet deep. Diving accidents can result in permanent spinal cord injuries, brain damage, and/or death. Diving accidents occur when a person dives into shallow water, into above-ground pools, which are usually shallow, into the shallow end of a pool, or springs upward from the diving board and hits the board on the way down.