Most Child Drowning Victims Ignored
Parents Often Lax About Swimming Supervision
Researchers also conducted a separate nationwide survey of
parents of children 14 and younger about their water-safety knowledge,
attitudes, and behavior.
They found that although 94% said they always supervise their
children while swimming, many do not devote their full attention to the task.
More than one-third report talking to others while supervising their children.
Reading, eating, and talking on the phone were also commonly reported.
Most parents (55%) also said they thought there were
circumstances where it is OK for a child to swim without adult supervision,
such as if they swim with a buddy (31%), if the child is an excellent swimmer
(29%), or if they have had several years of swimming lessons (23%).
But experts say drowning is a silent killer that can strike
even older, more experienced child swimmers.
Other findings of the report include:
- Nearly two-thirds (61%) of pool- or spa-owning parents do not have
isolation fencing around their pools or spas, and 43% have no self-closing and
- Many preteens (kids aged 8 to 12) admit they never wear a life jacket when
riding on a personal watercraft (50%), participating in water sports (37%), or
on a boat (16%).
- One in five parents (19%) mistakenly believes that air-filled water wings
can protect their child from drowning.
Water Safety Checklist
Researchers recommend that adults take turns serving as the
"water watcher," whose sole responsibility is to constantly keep an eye
on children in or near the water.
In addition, the National SAFE KIDS Campaigns recommends the
following water safety steps for adults to follow to reduce the risk of child
- Never leave children alone near water.
- Tell children never to run, push, or jump on others around water.
- Learn infant and child CPR.
- Children should always wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
- Inflatable inner tubs and "water wings" are not safety
- Keep toilet lids down.
- Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.
- Children in baby bath seats and rings must be within arm's reach every
- Teach children to swim after age 4.
- Make sure children swim within designated swimming areas of rivers, lakes,