The Numbers Tell the Story

Did you know that the leading cause of death for children ages 1-5 or 1-15; (the age range doesn’t change the statistic) is “unintentional harm”? A visit to the CDC website was sobering because it spoke of all the sorrow that parents, family members, and friends have experienced as a result of an unintentional action (or lack thereof) taken by someone.

The first “unintentional harm” cause of death is motor vehicle accidents. The second cause in both age ranges is accidental drowning. I had already planned to blog today about water safety; but when I saw this it made me realize that we can NEVER be too cautious or speak of water safety too often.

The CDC website has excellent information and I suggest that you visit it right away; at the beginning of your summer fun. Every day about 10 people die from accidental drowning and 2 of these are under the age of 14. Children ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rates. The statistics speak of our need to be more intentional in our pursuit of safety.

The following verbiage is directly from the CDC website: PLEASE take a minute to remind yourself and your family of water safety…there are many things that you can do with your children but the responsibility rests with US; the adults. We must keep our children safe.

·       Supervision when in or around the Water.Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around water. Supervisors of preschool children should provide “touch supervision”, be close enough to reach the child at all times.  Adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, or mowing the lawn) while supervising children.

·       Buddy System.Always swim with a buddy. Select swimming sites that have lifeguards whenever possible.

·       Seizure Disorder Safety.If you or a family member has a seizure disorder, provide one-on-one supervision around water, including swimming pools. Consider taking showers rather than using a bath tub for bathing.

·       Learn to Swim.Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning. However, even when children have had formal swimming lessons, constant, careful supervision when children are in the water, and barriers, such as pool fencing, to prevent unsupervised access are necessary.

·       Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).In the time it might take for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could make a difference in someone’s life.

·       Do Not Use Air-Filled or Foam Toys.  Do not use air-filled or foam toys, such as “water wings”, “noodles”, or inner-tubes, in place of life jackets (personal flotation devices). These toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe.

·       Avoid Alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.

There are many other facts, tips, and safety rules on their website. Please visit it and take extra precaution so that nothing “unintentional” occurs this summer that brings sorrow or pain to what should be a joyful time of discovery and fun.


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