Drowning is the leading cause of death and disability in California for children under 5 years of age.
Drowning is preventable. Anyone can drown.
Drowning can be fast and silent, occurring without a struggle or splash. Young children are more at risk and can drown in any body of water, including a bucket, bathtub, sink, pool or spa.
Drowning Prevention is most effective with a “layers of protection” approach:
- Never leave a child alone near water, even for a few seconds.
- A supervising adult should be close enough to touch the child under 4 years old near water.
- Designate at least one adult “water watcher” at all times. If you’re with a group, have adults take turns.
- All collections of water are dangerous for infants and toddlers including bathtubs, buckets, toilets, ponds, spas, swimming pools, and natural water sites.
- Swimming pools should have fences, alarms, and drains that meet regulations.
- Pool gates should be self-latching, opening outward, with the latch out-of-reach for a child.
- Keep reaching and throwing aids near a swimming pool.
- Teach kids survival swimming skills.
- Kids that are not strong swimmers should wear well-fitting life jackets. (But be aware they don’t make your child drown-proof — still keep constant watch.)
- Set water safety rules for the whole family — for example, kids should never swim alone, inexperienced swimmers should stay in water less than chest deep, don’t dive into water less than 9 feet deep, stay away from pool drains, pipes and other openings, etc.
- Parents and child caregivers should know how to perform rescue techniques and strategies to respond in an emergency.
If a child is missing, check the pool first.