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Thursday, October 23, 2014
Fire Department

Drowning Prevention

Drowning and near drowning incidents happen far too often in southern Nevada! Drowning is a leading cause of unintentional death in Southern Nevada for young children. It is called the 'Silent Death' because there is often no cry for help and very little sound from splashing. Even if the child survives the incident, they can suffer permanent brain damage. Everyone with children of their own or those who supervise children need to believe it can happen to them. Most of these children drown in their own backyard swimming pool, but others drown in bath tubs, buckets, toilets, and dog water bowls. Small children are top-heavy, and they don't have the upper body strength to lift themselves out of one of these dangerous situations.

Drowning can be prevented

The majority of drowning deaths occur in the family pool. The most common drowning victim is a child four years of age or younger. The most common time is between noon and dinner. These tragedies often occur while parents are home and there is a brief lapse in supervision.

Supervision

  • NEVER leave a child unattended in the bathtub for ANY reason for any length of time.
    There is nothing important enough to risk drowning!
    Children can drown in just a few inches of water and can easily topple into the tub while you're dashing out to answer the phone, get a towel, etc.
  • Don't run to answer the phone.
  • Don't check to see who's at the door.
  • Don't leave your child to be watched by an older brother or sister.

MAKE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THESE RULES!

Bath seats
Several types of bath seats and rings adhere to the bottom of the tub with suction cups and offer bathing infants and toddlers support while sitting. Don't leave your child unattended. The suction cups can come loose, and it isn't hard for a child to slide out of the seats.

Get supplies first
Collect soap, towel, diaper, clothing, toys, and any other items you plan on using before you even run the bath water. Place these items where you can reach them easily.

Water heater
To reduce the risk of scalding, set your home's water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  A good test: You should be able to hold your hand comfortably under the tap even when the hot water alone is running.

Faucet covers
Placing a soft, insulated cover over the bathtub faucet is a prudent safeguard against accidental burns or bumps. They are available at many baby-supplies stores.

Slips and Falls
Place a rubber mat in the tub or affix non-slip adhesive decals or strips to the bottom of the tub.

Electrical hazards
Keep electrical devices (including hair dryers, curling irons, and electric razors) well away from the tub.

Slippery floors
Be sure to use (and teach your child to use) extra caution and keep a non-slip bathroom rug by the side of the tub for your child to step onto after bathing.

On Average 25 children drown in buckets every year in the United States

A young child's curiosity, along with their crawling and pulling up while learning to walk, can lead to danger when buckets are used around the house. Children lean forward to play in the water and when they topple into the bucket, they are unable to free themselves. The five-gallon bucket is particularly dangerous because it's heavier weight makes it more stable than a smaller bucket, and unlikely to tip over when a child uses it to pull up. These containers are about half the height of the infants, and with several gallons of water, weigh more than children of that age.

  • NEVER leave any bucket of water or other liquid unattended when small children are around. Even a partly filled bucket can be a drowning hazard.
  • When doing household chores, immediately empty out buckets when finished, or move them to a safe place before taking a break.
  • ALWAYS watch your children around water, inside the home, around the pool and around the yard.
  • Enforce the same safety rules you use at home. Take time to explain the importance of following these same rules to your children.
  • Never allow children to swim unsupervised in a hotel/motel pool.
  • Never assume someone else is watching your child.
  • Check out the pool before you swim: Is the water clean and clear? Where is the deep end? Is there a lifeguard on duty? Where is the rescue equipment, and how is it used? Where is the phone, and can you dial out directly?
  • When staying at a relative or friend's home, look for possible water hazards (pools, ponds, buckets, bathtubs, toilets, dog bowls, etc.).
  • When boating, wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket. When planning boating events, make sure to pack a life jacket for each person. Children are required to wear a life jacket at all times in a boat in many states.
  • Bring along other items that float such as cooler, cushions, etc.
  • Know what is in and under an open water area. Find out about hazards such as marine life, parasites, currents, drop-offs, very cold water, or submerged objects. Enter all unfamiliar water feet first.
  • If the water is shared by boats, BE VISIBLE: Have your child wear a bright colored swim cap, stay close to shore, and actively watch for boats.
  • Know what to do if your child falls in the river: Go downstream immediately to position yourself to help.

Swimming Pool Safety