As discussed a couple weeks ago by your North Charleston auto accident attorneys, Lowcountry Officials are concerned about area kids’ safety around the water this summer. And the Media Blitz to help educate parents and caregivers continues, a recent article in the South’s Oldest Daily Newspaper, the Post and Courier, warns that the inflatable backyard kiddies pools are nearly as dangerous as their larger, in-ground counterparts.
This finding comes from a report by the journal, Pediatrics, and is the first study to look into the drowning danger posed to youngsters when playing in kiddie pools, more specifically inflatable pools ranging from small wading pools less than 18 inches deep to other soft-sided pools that can reach depths of 4 feet.
According to the report, a child dies in a portable pool every five days during the warmer months of the year. The report counted 209 death and 35 near-drowning from 2001 and 2009 that can be attributed to the backyard, portable pool. Of those deaths an extremely large majority, 94 percent were under the age of 5, and 81 percent of the drowning accidents occurred during the summer. The difficulty for parents, in regards to portable pools, is that the safety systems normally in place for larger in-ground pools (fences with self-closing and latching gates) don’t apply to kiddie pools, and often the necessary layers of protection escape them.
Overall, according to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning ranks second as the cause of accidental injuries and deaths among children ages 1-14. But, the Centers note that toddlers are at the greatest risk when it comes to drowning.
Included in the Post and Courier’s article is a surprising fact that would surprise most parents and caregivers. It makes sense that a majority of child drownings happen in residential swimming pools and open water sites (lakes, oceans, rivers, creeks, etc.), but the surprise comes that younger children can drown in less than 2 inches of water, according Kids Health. That means children can drown in sinks, toilets, fountains, buckets, and anything else that can hold water, especially backyard pools. Thus, it is of paramount importance for parents and caregivers to to empty and turn over kiddie pools when they are finished being used.
The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals says that, much like we mentioned in the last post on kids drowning and water safety, parental supervision is key, but that supervision mean actively watching your child without any other outside distractions. And caregivers should not only actively watch and avoid things like socializing, reading, and taking a nap, but also always stay within an arm’s reach of their child.
Additionally, parents and caregivers should always keep a phone nearby in case there is an emergency and learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.