Stop Drowning Now!
There are still too many children drownings happening around the country. What should we do?
Parents should choose classes that emphasize water safety and require a parent or other adult to be in the water with the child, said Connie Harvey who heads aquatics development for the American Red Cross and wasn’t involved in the doctors’ policy update.
Classes should have at least one instructor for every 10 students, she said.
The updated policy, released online by the journal Pediatrics, also recommends fences around all pools, even popular inflatable ones. Kids can drown by leaning over the soft sides and falling in.
And the group warns that children can drown when their hair or hands get sucked into the drains of pools or spas without drain covers or proper filter-pump equipment.
The rate of childhood drowning deaths has declined in recent years. About 1,100 U.S. children drowned in 2006.
Parents know they should be vigilant while children swim, but trouble can occur in an instant of inattention, said Dr. Jeffrey Weiss of Phoenix Children’s Hospital and lead author of the policy.
“It’s not a lack of supervision, it’s a lapse of supervision,” Weiss said.