Children are curious. Through some determination and exploration, a child will find his or her way to water. This can be especially dangerous to toddlers who lack safety awareness. Even more so, when adult supervision is lacking or less than focused on the safety issues. Tragedies can and do occur, even when there is a crowd of adults nearby.
The Center for Disease Control reports that drowning is the leading cause of death for children between the ages of one and four, and that drowning makes up one-third of unintentional injury deaths of children in the same age range. This should make drowning a concern for many parents and child care providers, especially those with a swimming pool or hot tub in their home. There is a myriad of precautions parents and child care providers can take, and they can depend based on the specifics of the parents or the children. The CDC recommends that parents and child care providers enclose any area of open water with a gated fence or a cover for the pool or hot tub, as well as learn CPR in case their child falls into the pool.
Parents and child care providers should also take care to tell their children that they are not to go in aquatic areas without an adult present. Adult supervision of swimming children is vital, as shown by a tragedy that occurred earlier this year. Two children drowned in separate incidents over Memorial Day weekend in Texas. Both drownings occurred in very brief intervals of time where adults were not paying attention. In the aftermath, authorities recommended having a designated pool watcher at any pool parties with young children present. A designated watcher is a responsible adult that acts as a sort of lifeguard, watching the children from outside the pool to make sure everything is okay. Adults can even take shifts as the watcher, as long as someone is always keeping a watchful eye. The most important thing is that the watcher does not get distracted, which means they cannot look at their phone or get in the pool. This ensures that all children in the pool or hot tub are being watched, which seriously reduces the risk of of a drown incident / injury.